ReadMore: Motivate Your Reading

Today we’re going to take a look at ReadMore, an application that helps you reach your reading goals and track your progress in the books you’re currently undertaking.

It’s not an e-reader but instead a timer that keeps track of your reading history. Below we’ll walk you through the various features and then discuss why the app is so helpful.

Getting Started

When you open ReadMore for the first time, you’ll be taken to the Reading Stack screen. This will be empty by default but will fill up as you add books.

It’s nice to see that the developers wanted to put their own spin on a bookshelf theme rather than mimicking that of iBooks and countless other reading apps.

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The Reading Stack

The books are displayed as a stack with the binding outwards. Notice the little circular dials indicating how much of the book you’ve read.

Another nice touch is that the book thickness is directly related to the number of pages you set when you added the book. A subtle but appreciated design element.

Adding Books

To add a book you simply tap the plus button in the screen above. This will bring up the “Edit Book” screen where you can enter the title, author, and number of pages for the book.

I would like to see some auto-complete functionality here based on popular titles. Instead of being forced to type it all out, it would be nice if I could type the first few letters and then was able to choose from a list of titles and authors matching that search string. This is by no means a major downfall of the app, merely a feature suggestion.

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Adding a Book

Tapping the “More Details” section allows you to enter an optional summary and the controls at the bottom are for setting the appearance of the book when viewed from the Reading Stack.

You have five colors and four textures to mix and match to create the appearance that you want. This system is simple enough to be quick and provides enough options to vary your entire stack significantly.

Reading Books

When you decide to read a particular book, select it from the Reading Stack to open the timer window. Here you’ll see a simple clock that records hours and minutes along with a few controls.

Upon downloading this app I was worried about the possibility of not being able to use it for books that I had already started, but this proved to be a non-issue as you can easily set the starting page before beginning the timer.

If you start the timer and close the app, say to switch to an e-book, it will still show an accurate representation of the time you spent reading when you return.

screenshot

Reading a Book

Under the timer there is a play/pause button, a stop button and a button for adding notes. When you want to begin a reading session, hit the play button.

When you’re finished with a session, hit the stop button to bring up the screen on the right. Here you can make adjustments to any data that may be incorrect. Hit the “Save” button in the top right to record the data.

Session Data

The real meat of the app lies in the data that it tracks. Each reading session is recorded and the information is presented for you to analyze and use for setting goals.

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Information Tracking

As you can see in the screenshot above, each book contains a progress bar showing the percentage of the book that you’ve finished along with pages read vs. pages left and an estimation of when you will finish at your current rate.

I particularly like the estimated finish date feature as many of my books are from public libraries and I can use this feature to easily set goals for finishing books before their due dates.

How I Use It

ReadMore is a gem of an app that you’ll either love or have absolutely no use for. The question of course hinges on whether or not you’re an avid reader, or at least would like to be.

As a full-time writer, it’s only natural that I have a passion for reading. I’m always in the middle of two to three novels all the while considering what to read next.

I have a peculiar habit that makes this app particularly suited for my needs. Like every good husband, I frequently take my wife shopping. However, I don’t particularly enjoy shopping malls and loathe spending more than ten minutes in a clothing retailer. Consequently, I spend this time in bookstores.

I usually have a book or two that I save for just such an occasion. I walk into the bookstore, locate the book, read until it’s time to enjoy a pretzel with my wife at the food court, and place the book back on the shelf until next time, carefully noting my position in my iPod Touch.

ReadMore has proven to be the perfect companion for this strange habit and can perfectly save my position and track my progress, making it easy to come back and pick up books that I haven’t read in a while. I can even make notes about plot development as a quick refresher in case the time lapse has been significant.

Conclusion

ReadMore is definitely a niche app, but one that performs perfectly for the individuals in that niche. Though it seems a little on the light side as far as features, making it hard to justify the purchase, the developers promise several more reporting and exporting features soon.

As a complete data nerd, I love tracking my progress and getting a visual representation of my reading habits and I hope to see this idea taken further with more in-depth graphs and trends. It would also be nice to see more emphasis placed on goal setting.

One idea is to have a feature enabling you to set a daily reading goal in minutes and then receive notifications for when you’ve reached that goal. There’s definitely a lot of potential here to really flesh out the feature set and increase the usefulness of the app.

Leave a comment below and let us know whether you think ReadMore is right for you and what features you’d like to see added in the next version.


Summary

ReadMore tracks you progress and time spent reading various books in your collection. It is not an e-reader but instead a reading companion and utility to help you analyze trends and set goals.

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  • http://www.designinginteractive.com Josh Walsh

    I love this application. It’s always on my home screen.

    It’s one of those applications that you never knew you needed, until you found it. Now that you have, you can’t live without it.

  • http://navel-labs.com Jonathan Penn

    Hey, I’m the developer of ReadMore. Thanks for the thoughtful review! And thanks a lot for the suggestions. Yep, I’m still evolving ReadMore and will try to implement these kinds of ideas as soon as I can. Stuff like the autofill for book details, more colors, syncing between devices, iPad universal version, etc. Don’t worry it’s on the todo list!

  • http://www.nkbookreviews.com Nate Klaiber

    I have been using this application for a while, and have enjoyed watching it evolve. I think some of the points you mention, specifically around an autocomplete (or storing the ISBN for the book), would be very useful and welcome additions.

    As with you, I am a data nerd – so I love being able to see this and get the details around my reading. This even works well when reading several books at a time. The UI helps to keep everything organized and simple – a very small learning curve for using it.

    I am the same as Josh, in that this lives on my homepage and is used very often. I was glad to see export as an option, and look forward to that becoming more robust with storing more information about the books.

  • http://joefiorini.com Joe Fiorini

    I’ve been using ReadMore since it came out; being able to see when I’m going to finish a book really helps motivate me to keep reading. Especially when most of my books are electronic and I don’t have a visual representation of my progress.

    I agree that ReadMore is light on features, but I disagree that it’s difficult to justify the purchase price. At $1.99 I expect nothing more than a small, lightweight app that delivers on its promise. The features they are planning on adding in the feature will just make it that much more attractive.

  • http://karmamole.com Omar Kamel

    Better than auto-complete – Barcode scan!

  • http://macfam.me John MacAdam

    I love Readmore. A must have for all readers!

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  • Vasilis

    It seems a nice app but i agree that is hard to justify the purchase price because it’s a small app that needs more features to be at this price. Plus i don’t like very much the icon of the app(yep i know i am one of those guys who love beautiful shiny icons, sorry).

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