Reading on the go

Finding myself with a commute of over 30 min every day, I set myself the goal of actually reading more non-fiction. But what app should I use to get my reading done?

So first, let’s get to what I want from my app.

Wish list

1. I want to read on my phone as I don’t want to take another device with me.
2. I want to read non-fiction books, a.k.a. work topics.
3. I want to either take notes or mark something I find important.
4. I want to access my notes / markings on my computer.

The options:

(yes this is only a very short list of options)

A. Kindle (app & device)

There is an app for my phone, there is an app for (nearly) everything (as far as I know). My (first-world) problem is: I want to separate leisure reading (which basically happens on my kindle/ my connected Amazon account from ‘serious’ reading. It will prevent me reading more ‘interesting’ books while on the go.

B. Aldiko

The app was pre-installed on my tablet and I used it to read some on my tablet a long time ago.
My first problem came with adding larger books to the app on my phone. As in it crashed. Now this could be an issue with my phone (which needs an upgrade to a newer one) but the app also takes forever for small files.
The real issue I had, came from the fact that without an account I was only able to set bookmarks. It annoyed me so much.
And no, I didn’t want to get another account or pay for the account. And of cause I also couldn’t access my bookmarks from somewhere else. That led me figure out point 3. and 4. on my wish list actually.

C. Google Play Books

I asked around (apparently I’m the only one reading on my commute out of my friends) and finally settled on trying Google Play Books (pre-installed and disabled on my phone).
Now I already have a Google Account (and an Android phone) so what I found annoying was that I couldn’t add/upload the books from my phone without running into problems.
So I took the long way and uploaded my books (the six I want to read this year) to google on my laptop and then downloaded them again on my phone (in wifi…) what a drag.
The app itself handles fine, but what really got me going was the ‘sync’ portion. As the app connects with a Google Account you can enable that all you bookmarks, markings and notes get synchronised to a Google Doc. Awesome!
I actually resigned myself to manually create some kind of note with all the important information from the book. But Google does it for me. And as I’m using Google Drive anyways I can access that information from everywhere.
Note of warning: if you want to add something to the document you should make a copy and work in that Doc as the synchronised one will be overwritten the next time you add something in the reader (so Google says). Still awesome.
I’m currently really happy with my reading setup, now I just need to get away from playing on my phone so much and actually reading more while commuting and to reach that reading goal…
What do you use for reading on your mobile device? Or are you also playing way to much during your commute?

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