Thing 12: Books, Books, & More Books

For Thing 12 we are playing with apps that provide books or book recommendations. I tried two new-to-me apps, Free Books and YALSA Teen Book Finder.

Free Books

Free Books is an app from something called Classicly that offers exactly what it says it does–over 23,000 free ebooks. The books are all from the public domain (generally pre-1923). I usually go straight to Project Gutenberg for my free public domain works. In comparison, Free Books is a lot prettier and user-friendly than Project Gutenberg.

screenshot of Free Books app home screen


A page form The Count of Monte Cristo in Free Books app

The only problem I encountered was that my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo did not have a table of contents, which could make navigating the book difficult. This would be a great app for patrons who are looking for additional free books to read outside of the library’s ebook collection, or for the members of the old Classics Book Club I used to lead at a public library.

YALSA Teen Book Finder

screenshot of record for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green in the YALSA app

I was a bit disappointed by this app. I enjoy reading YA, but I didn’t see this being useful for many patrons. Basically, you can search for teen books by author, title, genre, awards won, etc. When you find a book, you can see a very brief synopsis and follow a link to find out if any nearby libraries have it. I don’t know how often it is updated. When I did Rainbow Rowell as a sample search she didn’t show up at all. Several other authors were missing their most recent books. It might be useful to include on a library iPad, but I see only limited uses for this one.


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