You know about the popular e-reader and audiobook apps like Kindle and Audible. These standard apps aren’t your only, or even best, resources for getting books on your Android. In fact, if you do a lot of reading or listening, using the most popular apps gets expensive! Try a few new apps and hacks for getting free reads and listens.
Connect to Hoopla Digital
Do you have a library card? If you do, you can download Hoopla Digital and connect to a library of free e-books, audiobooks, and movies, as long as your library has an account with Hoopla. Once you link your library card, you’ll get a certain number of free downloads each month, and you can use those downloads on anything. Hoopla Digital offers lots of popular titles in both e- book and audiobook format, and is a fantastic way to supplement your reading material each month.
Customize Your Experience With Alkido
Not all e-book apps are created the same, and once you download Alkido you’ll understand why so many Android users prefer it. Alkido offers a free version and a premium version for $3.79. If you’re not a fan of the stark, boring look of popular e-readers, definitely start reading via Alkido. Alkido on a phone with a big, clear display like the one your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 from T- Mobile is basically magic, because of how customizable it is. Alkido offers lots of alternatives to the black text on a white background, a Day and Night mode, and adjustable font sizes and margin widths.
Look Through Spotify
You know Spotify as a music player, and Spotify does that wonderfully. A little known corner of the Spotify catalogue features audiobooks! Books that are in the common domain are free to produce as audiobooks, and several “artists” on Spotify offer wonderful audiobook renderings of the classics. Check out Spotify artists DSB Audiobooks and Wordscape for tons of classics, or do a search for a classic you’ve always wanted to read.
Note that most of the books are in albums or playlists, divided by chapters, so a premium subscription to Spotify makes it easiest to take advantage of these audiobooks. You’ll be able to find Jane Austen, Lord Tennyson, Lewis Carroll, and tons of other great selections.
Check out AlReader
Free app AlReader is compatible with Android 1.6 and up, so even if you have an old Android device you’ll still be able to customize your e-book experience. It converts tons of formats into readable e-books, including .doc, .docx, .txt. You can upgrade your free experience for 99 cents, $2.67, or $9.72. When you use AlReader, you get lots of customization options like viewing modes, color profiles, page turning animations, and more. AlReader is also a great resource for writers, since reading your own or a friend’s in-progress story is easy on AlReader.
LibriVox is a great free audiobook project that uses volunteer readers to record common domain books, short stories, and poems. The LibriVox app is free to download, and once you’ve got it you’ll have access to more than 15,000 free audiobooks and other material. Some of the audiobooks have a different narrator per chapter, while others feature the same narrator for the entire book. Many of the LibriVox titles offer several titles, so you can find the amateur narrator you like the best.
The LibriVox app lets you temporarily download the audiobooks you’re listening to, so you don’t have to use up your data every time you connect and so you can listen on planes or long car rides that take you in no service areas. When you crave a professional offering, check out more than 50,000 books you can purchase via the LibriVox app.
Bibliophiles be warned: these apps are highly addictive. You’ll find yourself making lists of all the books you want to read and listen to. If your “to-read” list was already long, well, it’s about to get a lot longer once you incorporate your Hoopla wishlist and new Spotify playlists into the mix!