There's a stack of unread books on your nightstand, but you don't know where to start — or maybe you can't remember the title of the novel that you loved last summer and want to recommend to a friend. Sound familiar?
Whether you want personalized recommendations, a place to record which books you've read and what you thought of them, or a tool to track your daily reading time, these apps and websites can help:
Great for: Library lovers
Libby is the new mobile offering from the makers of OverDrive. Both apps give patrons access to their local library's collection of audio- and ebooks on their device (just enter library card information after downloading), but Libby's sleek design has mobile users in mind. The app can support multiple library cards, keep track of active loans and holds, and lets you sample books before checking them out.
Great for: Amateur critics
Keep track of recent reads (or find new ones) on Goodreads, a hybrid social network and review site where bookworms rate millions of titles, plus share custom reading lists, participate in discussion groups and receive personalized recommendations based on past favorites. Frequent publisher giveaways mean there's also a chance to score free copies of new releases.
Great for: Type A organizers
Price: Free for the first 200 books, then $10/year (or $25 for a lifetime membership)
Like GoodReads, LibraryThing is home to active groups, forums and giveaways in all genres. But the site takes a bird's-eye approach to managing your home library, allowing users to catalog, tag and sort the titles in their book, movie and music collections. LibraryThing also maintains an index of local pages for information about bookstores and literary events in your area.
Great for: Notetakers
What it is: Mobile app for iOS devices
Price: First 10 scans are free; subscriptions start at $0.99/month (or $1.99 for 600 additional scans)
Ready to upgrade from sticky notes and highlighters to a digital note-taking experience? Shelfie uses optical character-recognition technology to convert pictures of text into searchable notes. Add your book, then snap a picture of your favorite passages, which will be stored in a searchable, exportable collection. A monthly subscription comes with unlimited scans and other features, like soothing background tracks to play while you read.
Great for: Goal-oriented optimizers
Price: First 10 books are free; subscriptions start at $4.99/month
Think of Bookly like a fitness tracker for your reading habits. Tell the app which books you're reading, then start up a “reading session” any time you crack one open: Bookly will track your pages and time reading, then estimate how long it'll take you to finish at your current rate. Paying subscribers get more features, such as unlimited books, personalized reminders and reports, and iCloud backup.
Great for: Newshounds
What it is: Internet browser extension
Price: Free, with a premium option for $4.99/month or $44.99/year
Pocket is a browser add-on that lets you seamlessly save articles and webpages to read later (or just to file away), plus offers up trending news stories from across the web in a variety of categories. Your saved articles are accessible both online and offline in an easy-to-read format, so you can pull them up anytime, anywhere. The premium version comes with perks like advanced search and tagging tools for even more organization.
Do it yourself
Don't overlook the humble notebook. Fans of the pen-and-paper planner system known as bullet journaling often track their reading habits using colorful, custom-drawn charts.
On the computer, something as simple as the Google Sheets spreadsheet tool or a general note-taking app like Evernote or Notion (both are free, with paid subscription options) allow you to create and maintain reading lists, too.