Bookish Stuff

How To Get The Best Out Of Your eReader App

I’ve been reading a lot of eBooks since last year. When money is tight, it’s just the least stressful way to get books. I have this “rule” where I don’t buy any Kindle/eBooks over €5 and that’s so easy to do with services like Bookbub. Since I’ve been reading so many eBooks and eARCs, I’ve learned to get the best out of my eReader apps. The reason I’m talking about apps specifically is because they work a bit differently than eReaders. Anyway, here’s some of the things I learned and you might not know about!

eReader Apps & eBooks

I’ve always liked eReader apps. I’ve used them since I got my first iPod touch many years ago, and it’s probably the main reason I’ve never actually gotten an eReader. I’ve used Apple’s iBooks, Kobo, Aldiko, Kindle, and probably even more when I wanted to try out some new apps. At the end of 2015, I discovered Amazon has a Dutch Kindle shop, and Kindle has been my favourite ever since! I’m subscribed to BookBub emails and I’ve gotten most of my eBooks for less €5 this way! Of course I also read my Netgalley ARCs with my Kindle app. On rare occasions, I can’t open a file in Kindle and I’ll use Aldiko. They’re both great! What app is best, is definitely personal preference! If you’d like me to do a comparison, let’s me know in the comments!

Highlighting & Note Taking

I use these features together for reviewing and it’s honestly my favourite way to review a book. I highlight in different colours for different things, and if I have a thought I want to mention in a review, I add a note to the quote, passage or at the end of a chapter! These are probably the most used/known features of eReaders and reading apps, but don’t underestimate their usefulness! I use colour coding with my highlights for characters, important events, etc. and then filter them so I can have a look at events/plot I highlighted separately from the rest of my highlights and notes. It’s so useful for reviewing! It’s easily my favourite way of reading a book for a review. Also, here’s where there’s a difference between eReaders and reading apps. Black/white/grey screens of eReaders won’t let you colour code! Apps on phones and tablets, however, able you to colour code your highlights. I used to take notes in a separate app, and sometimes I still do, but doing it straight in my eBook is so much easier! (And it’s really fun to look back at old notes during a reread.)


I stumbled upon this by accident, and not all books have it. But this is such a fun feature! With X-ray (on Kindle) you can basically see the backbones of a book. There’s a list of characters and words, and a bar after that name/word that shows how often it’s used in the book. It might not be very useful, but I find it really interesting to look at! Some words only have quotes from the book, but others have information from Wikipedia or a dictionary. Again, nothing special or useful, but it’s so much fun!

Time Left in Chapter/Book

I find this feature so, so useful! Whenever I’m reading and my mom suddenly asks me to go out with her, or to help her with something, I can tell her “Just # more minutes!” Also, it’s nice to know whether or not I can still read a chapter before I have to put away my book or not. Especially when travelling! This way, I just get most out of my reading. I also use this to decide whether or not I’ll finish a book. When there’s four hours left, there’s a big chance I’ll split it into two or three sittings. Is there’s only an hour or two left, I’ll probably make time to finish it in one go.


This is another feature that I just didn’t use for the longest time! Although my English is quite good if I say so myself some words are still gibberish to me. That’s not a problem when reading, because I just go over them and continue, not really having missed anything. Sometimes I just want (or need!) to know what certain words mean or I want to look up a translation and it’s so easy! All you have to do is tap on a word and there it is! Translation’s not always accurate, but I can get a long way with just the definition or Wikipedia information. I’ve actually learned so much since using this feature! You can also download the dictionary, so you don’t need internet access. It’s great!

Syncing Between Devices

I most often use my iPad Mini to read, but when I still travelled a lot, I often read on my iPhone while waiting for the train, switched to my iPad on the train and whenever I had a short spare moment, I’d get out my phone. Sometimes I still do when I want to read but I’m not in the mood for a heavy book or my iPad. Kindle makes this super easy because it’s syncs between devices! Most other reading apps do as well.

Do you read eBooks and/or eARCs?! What’s your favourite reading app? Was there anything in this post you didn’t know about?





  • Signourney

    I’ve never heard of the X-Ray before. I like my e reader because it is just easier on my eyes but for amazon I do have a kindle app on my phone. But for me the screen is too small so I might use the web browser they have for the few books. Even so though I think they are some great developments. 🙂 Especially being able to switch between devices.

    • Ayla

      I can definitely imagine how an actual eReader is easier on your eyes! It’s main reason I want to get a Kindle because my iPad is great, but I can’t read on it too long without getting sore eyes. The X-ray thing might actually be Kindle-exclusive, but I have no idea. Not a lot of books have it, but I did read a few that did! It’s not super useful or anything, but it’s a fun feature. ☺️

  • dominique_x

    Ah this is such a helpful blogpost. I only use my (very old) e-reader sometimes, so I can’t get access to apps. I only used my phone to read books once, but it was too small for me, haha. The X-Ray function sounds so awesome.

    • Ayla

      Thank you! I’m so glad you find it helpful. Some things might be exclusive to Kindle, but most go for all eReader apps! Phones are definitely a bit too small for reading, so I usually brought my iPad along during long train rides to college. Back then I only read on my phone while waiting for the train for like 5-10 minutes and then switched to my iPad once I sat down. It’s a really efficient way to read, but it’s not for everyone, I guess! 😉

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