11 Book Nerd Apps We Wish Existed

There’s an app for pretty much everything these days. Whatever your heart desires, from a sushi dinner to a pet therapist, can be swiped, tapped, and delivered to you instantly through your phone. Just about everything you do each day can be tracked, recorded, and analyzed by an app, too: how far you’ve run, how much you’ve eaten, how many imaginary animated monsters you’ve caught in random public places…

It seems like every time you start to think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” somebody has already built an app for exactly that. So we decided to dream up some reading-related apps every book nerd would want, in the hopes that if we wish it, it will come true. (Because that’s how app development works, right?)

1. An app that can tell you what great literary events (either historical or fictional) happened near your current geographic location.
Whether you’re visiting a new city or just roaming around your hometown, you can open this app and discover you’re standing near a site of great historical and literary significance. Are you near a bar F. Scott Fitzgerald once frequented? Did you know you’re just down the block from an inn that once rented a room to Edgar Allan Poe?

2. A magic 8-ball app that helps you decide which book to read next.
If you’re a book nerd who hates making game-time decisions, this app lets fate decide your next book purchase. Just ask the magic ball whenever you don’t know what to read, and see what book will be part of your literary destiny.

3. An app that alerts you when your commute (i.e., “reading time”) has ended.
This is the perfect app for commuters who are forever missing their stop on public transportation because they’re mesmerized by a good book. As you pull into your station, this geo-tracking app emits a warning tone that’s hard to ignore—even if you’ve just reached a cliffhanger.

4. An app that lets you track which books in your personal library are currently out on loan to friends.
This one’s great for passionate book-sharers who are forever losing track of their books. What’s more, you could set it up to remind your more forgetful friends to please return the book when they’re done.

5. An app that stores all your favorite literary quotes.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a picture of quotes you love as you come across them, and store them for later use? You could then browse through your collection whenever you’re looking for a good quote to share with someone or post on social media. You can even set up the app to text pre-selected quotes to you in the future, just in case you need some inspirational words on a rainy day.

6. An app that keeps track of your daily and/or weekly schedule and tells you exactly when you can squeeze in some precious reading time.
If you’re someone who laments having no time to read, this app would prove you wrong. Just open the app, enter everything you have scheduled in your calendar, and the app will calculate time in between your appointments for you to burn through a few pages. Twenty-eight-minute commute on the bus? Read. Forty-five minutes to kill between appointments? Read. Eighteen minutes while waiting for your date to show up? Read.

7. An app that syncs up with a soundtrack for what you’re reading.
The soundtrack is often what makes movies so emotionally compelling, so why shouldn’t books have an epic soundtrack too? With the right music, scary books could be properly bloodcurdling, inspiring books could truly make you feel your unsung potential, and romantic novels would make you weep openly.

8. An app that tells you how many books a bookshelf will hold.
Book nerds know that buying a new bookshelf is quite the logistical nightmare for those with a sizable book collection. Furniture shopping would be infinitely easier if you knew just how many books a commercially available bookshelf can hold. You’ll never go home with one that buckles under the weight of your enviable collection of hardcover first editions.

9. An app that lets you look up a phrase in its original language, and compare translations.
Some sentences are so beautiful and mysterious in translation, you’re curious to know how they were written in their original language. This app would let you find out how a phrase was originally written, and if there are other translations of it. This way, you can see for yourself if elements of it were lost in translation.

10. An app that shuts off all other apps when you’re reading.
In a distraction-prone world, it’d be great to have an app that makes it impossible to check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tinder, Vine, Bumble, Hinge, and thousands of other apps while you’re reading. To be honest, this app isn’t really for book nerds—it’s for book nerds who are trying to convince their app-addicted friends to read more.

11. An app that uses your friends’ social media presences to determine which fictional characters they most resemble.
If you’ve ever thought your friends remind you of literary characters, you’d get a kick out of this app. It would comb through everything your friends post and tell you which member of your posse is such a Lenny Abramov or a total Elizabeth Bennet.

What reading-related app would you love to see?

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