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Top writing and reading apps

24 August 2020

You can check out new authors, enjoy a virtual bookcase of great reads and books, and draft your own novel with these superb writing and reading apps.

Happy man reading tablet on boat
With our selection of reading apps you'll never be stuck for holiday reading again


Your bookcases wouldn’t be able to cope with Amazon’s catalogue of over 3.4 million titles, but you can access them all through this app (some Kindle books are free) and never be stuck for holiday reading again. Kindle Unlimited allows you to read as many books as you like for a set monthly fee.

Sync the last page you read and pick up where you left off on another device. Free, iOS, Android


Scribd, billed as 'Netflix for books' long before Amazon Unlimited came along, features half a million books from hundreds of publishers across a range of genres, plus provides personalised recommendations based on your reading habits. Subscription based, iOS, Android

The Hanx Writer

Created by Tom Hanks, this app turns your iPad into a manual typewriter. A joy to write with. You can choose different coloured ribbons and it even clacks and ‘clings’ pleasingly. Free, iOS

Saga Magazine

How could we not recommend downloading the UK’s bestselling monthly magazine on an app? Saga Magazine is packed with fascinating features, entertaining columns and expert advice, as well as bonus multimedia content including videos and puzzles. Subscription fee, iOS, Android.


Tap into the world's largest social network for readers with Goodreads.  Before committing to that novel, read thousands of book reviews by your friends and other Goodreads members. Join online communities and book groups based on genres you love and get recommendations from Goodreads based on the kinds of books you enjoy. 

Keep a virtual catalogue of what you've read and build your to-read list, favourites list and other custom lists as you discover great books. Free, iOS, Android.


WriterDuet is from the same team behind scriptwriting web-based app Celtx, and it's great for budding scriptwriters who want to write on the go without having to worry about formatting. Free, iOS, Android

The Week

This digest of the best of the week’s British and international press has been going strong on paper for years. Now you can buy a subscription for your phone or tablet, complete with a night-time reading mode and adjustable print size. Free, iOS, Android


The Libby app by Overdrive allows you to download ebooks and audiobooks from participating libraries. You'll need to check with your local library to find out whether they use it and what the limitations are, for example Kent Libraries allow 12 books to be borrowed at a time. You can browse what's available using your local library's Overdrive interfaceFree, iOS, Android


tiReader is a reading app for iOS supports a wide range of formats such as PDFs, epubs, cbrs, cbzs, plus photos. If you download DRM-free books you can easily read them in the tiReader, plus add bookmarks, annotations and search and manage your library - although the free version only allows you to store five items at a time. Upgrade for unlimited storage. Free, iOS.


Evernote includes templates that lets you do anything from taking notes during lectures to planning a novel's structure. You can share your work with collaborators or tag your work to make managing projects easier. There's a free plan that can be upgraded to premium for a few dollars a month. Free, iOS, Android


Magazine readers can enjoy reading unlimited magazines from participating publishers for the set price of £7.99. Considering the cost of some monthly glossies this could be a big saving for anyone who buys multiple magazines a year, and can be bought as a gift card. Subscription fee, iOS, Android

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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