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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.