4 Favorite Reading Apps

The first thing you need to do is get a Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) subscription for free access to more books, movies, magazines, and other media than you’ll ever be able to consume in a lifetime. A lot of apps come and go on my phone, but here are the four reading apps I can’t live without.

Icons for apps mentioned in this article

CML Mobile
I use this to request all kinds of resources from CML including print books, DVDs, and CDs. I also have all my account information handy such as items requested, held, and checked out; due dates; and fines. When I’m out and about, I use this app to scan a book’s barcode to quickly search for it within the CML catalog, then reserve it, all in less than 20 seconds.

This app was a little overwhelming at first, but now that I’ve figured it out, I LOVE it. First, you link your library subscription to it, then use it to search the catalog for electronic resources, then download them straight to your phone. You can’t get music or movies, but you can get eBooks and audio books on the fly. Connect – Find – Download – Listen/Read/Enjoy!

Why read only one book at a time? I’m not always in the mood for the same type of book in the same way as you might not always be in the mood for the same type of movie; action, romance, comedy, etc., so I’m usually in the middle of five to ten books at a time. Goodreads helps me keep track of what books I’m reading, have read, and want to read. I usually track my page number in case I lose the bookmark, and can also easily text or email the book information to a friend when I make recommendations. Speaking of friends, Goodreads is also a social network. I can rate and comment on books, and see ratings and comments from friends and other users. Like Netflix, Goodreads also recommends books based on books you’ve read.

A CML subscription gives you free access to tons of magazines via Zinio. I was blown away by the selection; everything from popular titles such as Cosmo, Discover, Forbes, and Consumer Reports to more specialized publications such as Bicycling, Saveur, Backpacker, and Macworld. The setup process is a little tedious, but it’s worth the effort. To summarize the overall steps:

  1. From a computer: set up a username/password through CML’s Zinio page.
  2. On your phone or tablet: download/install the Zinio app; sign in using your un/pw from step one.
  3. From a computer: request subscriptions to the magazines you want through CML’s Zinio page.
  4. On your phone or tablet: the subscriptions you requested should show up in your in your Zinio app under “my library.” Click the arrow next to each cover photo to download.

Once you’ve mastered this, don’t forget to check out other amazing resources you get to access for free though CML such as the language learning program, Mango Languages, the savvy shoppers’ guide, Consumer Reports, and the Netflix-like service, Hoopla.