What is a book app?

So you got an e-reader or a tablet or a smart phone for the holidays? Or you gave one to your child? Having made the big choice, now dozens of new questions arise, and you see a lengthy learning curve spreading out before you. Some people really enjoy that; others, not so much.

(We’ve a workshop coming up to help you, coming February 16.  More info soon.)

So here is one picky question we can take care of for you: the book app.

Now, there are apps (applications: little software programs) to read e-books, and you want them to read e-books on your tablet or computer: the two big ones are from Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Nobles.  Those we can call reading apps.

Then there are the e-books themselves, that you can buy, or download for free, or check out from your library!

And then there are book apps. Book apps are very fancy e-books which have interactive features. They read the story to you; you can touch on objects on the screen and unexpected things happen; you can “color” in the illustrations; there might be animation, music, and other special effects. Many are for children– both for entertainment and for education– but not all. Book apps are device-specific, so you need to look and see that the one you’re interested in is made for the device you have.

Kirkus put together a list of the “best of 2012” book apps – browse through these to get a sense of what they can do.

And here’s a list of book apps for teens and adults.

happy apping!


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Filed under Books, E-books, Early literacy, Internet, Reading

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