Free apps to keep you reading (and writing)


Mikayla Havison, Editor-in-Chief

The library is closed and so are most book stores, but that does not mean now is the time to stop reading. If you can not wait for an online shipment of books, here are some apps to keep you occupied in the meantime…

Amazon Kindle-

If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, then you have to download this app. Under the category “Prime Reading” there are lots of free books that have actually been edited and published, unlike other apps. There are also free magazines, like National Geographic and Vogue. I know the app isn’t technically free, but you might already have Amazon Prime without realizing the library that comes with it.


This app is by far the best free ereader I could find. Combining the best of all worlds, Sweek offers the fiction of aspiring writers, as well as the numerous classics. When downloading the app, make sure to page over to the classics section, where you can find pretty much any classic you desire, from Plato’s Republic to the works of Edgar Allen Poe. There is also fan fiction, nonfiction, and writing competitions. Sweek is a bit more challenging to use than other apps, but the effort is worth the reward. The chapters are a bit difficult to slide between and there are occasional advertisements, but those are really the only flaws. 


Of all the apps on this list, Inkitt is probably the simplest to use. The interface is easy to understand, there are no advertisements and all the books are free, all of which make it a great e-reader. The only downsides to Inkitt are the stories are often shallow, the grammar can be horrendous, and every once in a while, authors trick you by only including part of the book on the app, forcing you to purchase it off another e-reader. For some unknown reason, there is a lot of werewolf fiction on the app, although there are other books as well. A lot of the books are hit or miss, but if you like cheesy fiction and hate the fees on Wattpad, this might be the app for you. 

Google Play Books-

Although many of the books on the app are only available for purchase, there is also a large selection of free books. Of those free books, there are numerous classics, in fact, most of the world of classic fiction is available. If classics aren’t your speed, there are also quite a few more modern fiction pieces. Although most of the modern stuff is not the highest quality and dare I say, borderline “trashy”, you would be surprised by what you can find. Just search for free books and you will have yourself a new library.


Since its creation in 2006, Wattpad has become one of the most well-known e-readers and is notorious for its fanfiction. Although not all books on the app are free and anyone can write stories, there are still ways to find some decent, free books. When searching by genre, be sure to organize the search by popularity. You can also find decent books under “editors’ picks” and the “best of the best.” Unlike some of the other e-readers on this list, Wattpad does contain advertisements, which can be irritating while trying to enjoy a story. Wattpad does have more successful authors than other e-reading apps, some of which have gotten their stories published for real, but it does come at the price of ads, irritating fees and horrible writing to dig through first. 


Unlike other apps specializing in ebooks, Blinkist focuses solely on nonfiction. Although many of the books require subscription, there is a free book daily, as well as a few other free books that are available all the time. In the app, you can select if you want to read a book or listen to it. The app is very easy to use and the options make it the perfect way to spend a little time learning something new. I would even say that it might be worth paying for a one month subscription to access all the app has to offer.


Shortly is certainly not the best e-reader on this list, but it is unique. When first downloading the app, it asks you to read a short story and it times how fast you read. Using that data, Shortly then customizes the experience by noting how long it takes to read each story available. Not all the stories are great and most contain very little plot development, but Shortly provides some entertaining flash-fiction. There are also lots of writing plots, which everyone is welcome to try their hand at.


To be honest, the writing on this app is horrible. If you are looking for a good ebook to read, this app probably is not for you; however, Penana does have a feature that made it worthy of this list. Unlike the other e-readers, Penana has writing competitions that have entertaining prompts, a great way to kill some time. Who knows, maybe you could be the one to end the trend of terrible writing on this app.