21 Best Reading, Storytelling, and Poetry Apps Every Reader Must Have

If you’re like me, you probably love reading all the time. The perfect day is a day snuggled up on the couch with hot cocoa and a great book. Unfortunately, if you’re also like me, that really doesn’t happen very often, so instead, I read when I’m on a train, on a plane, in a taxi, in line at the grocery store….you name it! Even just a few years ago, I used to keep a book in my purse at all times. If you’re a crazy reader like I am, you probably know how heavy some of these hardcover books are, although I probably got some bigger biceps out of it. It’s really no fun carrying these books everywhere if you want to do some reading and don’t want to treat it like a hard workout.

The good news is that if you carry a smartphone or tablet with you, you can take advantage of many mobile reading apps that can bring the entire world of poetry, short stories, novels, fanfiction, and more to your fingertips. Imagine that, with a few apps you’ll have millions of new stories and poems ready for you to read on your iOS or Android device.

There are so many types of stories you can read on your phone through apps from graphic novels to comics to stories to short stories to poetry and more. Below, I’ll be sharing some great smartphone apps that you can use to satiate your need for great storytelling.

1. Commaful

This app is a must-have for people who love short stories, poetry, and fanfiction. There is a vibrant community of writers that actively post new stories every day and give feedback to each other to improve their work. While their specialty is short stories in the horror, romance, and humor, you’ll find many types of stories on the site. You’ll even occasionally run across bestselling authors and screenplay writers.

All the stories on this app are told in a picture-book style format that reminds me a little of Instagram. It can take some getting used to at first if you aren’t used to multimedia fiction, but this app is perfect for quick on-the-go reading and writing.

2. Wattpad

The largest novel-writing community in the world as far as I know. Wattpad is a global writing and reading site. They are known for their teen fiction and One Direction fanfiction, but also has a very wide variety of stories. Some Wattpad stories have been turned into TV shows and Wattpad has many users in the Philippines and other areas. With a library size in the millions, odds are, you’ll find something you like here. Curation could use some work to find the quality stories, but overall a great place to read.

Wattpad also features well-known creators and sometimes helps promotes published authors, so you can sometimes find interesting tidbits from published books around the site.

3. Amazon Kindle

This one is probably pretty obvious. A great place to get ebooks for your reading pleasure. Most of the quality reads you have to actually buy, but because it’s Amazon, pretty much every book there is can be accessed via Kindle. It’ll be the easiest way for you to cross off books from your TBR (To Be Read) list. This is even better if you have a tablet and can be accessed across many different devices. This is probably a must-have at this point if you have books on your device.

4. Fanfiction.net

This app accompanies the popular website for fanfiction. If you’re looking for long stories about Marvel or Harry Potter (but not the stories themselves, fan-written stories), this is a great place for you. Be warned, there can be a lot of adult content on this site, so may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

5. Audible

If you count listening to books as reading and you prefer listening, you will love Audible. There’s a pretty wide selection of audiobooks from non-fiction to fiction that you can listen to. This is particularly convenient if you take a lot of walks or do a lot of chores. You can keep reading even if you don’t have hands to hold your phone. (This is especially good with Airpods, I can vouch for this personally)

I recommend reading the reviews of the books before getting the audio version even if you know the book is supposed to be good. The narration matters a lot and certain narrators can ruin the book so before you get the book make sure there aren’t too many complaints about a bad narrator.

6. Nook

This is the Barnes & Nobles e-reading app that allows you to take many books with you on the go. Truthfully, I think the Kindle app is a better experience, but as many people dislike Amazon and what it’s done to the book world, Nook is a great option for people who don’t want to support the Amazon tech giant.

7. Spellbound

The stories here are pretty entertaining. It’s an app with visual stories that feel a bit like comics or graphic novels. The stories are accompanied by images and illustrations. The majority of readers here tend to be teenagers it seems. The library is fairly small still but growing.

8. Bookfunnel

Get indie books on your phone! You can get your books on your phone or Kindle Fire and get books that you can read for free. It’s a great little tool that doesn’t even require an email to use.

9. FBReader

One of the most popular multi-platform ebook readers. A great way to store ebooks on the go and read when you want. FBReader provides you access to a huge set of ebooks that you can import into your device.

10. Poemhunter

A large library of both classic and user-created poems. Very easy to use and filled with great poetry. This is one of the largest libraries of poems in apps that I could find.

11. POETRY from the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is one of the most well-known poetry organizations in the world. They have been supporting poets for a very long time.

The app is a bit old school, which is fitting as it is filled with old classic poems. Great for finding great classic poems when you’re on the go.

12. Poetry Daily

Pretty much what the name says. Get a daily poem delivered to your phone. Most of these poems are from more contemporary poets.

13. Manga Rock

A simple online manga reader. A huge community of manga readers and writers. There are tens of thousands of mangas featured here, making this a really sizable community to enjoy.

The illustrations are really high quality as well.

14. Google Play Books

There is a version for iPhone as well, don’t worry iPhone users! This is a great library of content for ebooks, audiobooks, and comics. This is specifically for things you claim or purchase from the Google Play store. Many of the content pieces also contain free samples for you to try out before purchasing.

15. ComiXology

This is now actually owned by Amazon (I mean what isn’t these days?). A great library of comics and mangas from DC to Marvel and more. This is filled with popular graphic novels and comics from the classics to newly published works.

16. Scribd

A reading subscription offering that gives you access to magazines, audiobooks, books, and more. The Scribd subscription features a wide variety of content options from random documents to books to audiobooks to magazines and more. It’s a really eclectic group of content but they certainly do have a lot of it!

17. Tapas

A comic-site for indie comic makers. If you like comics or webtoons, this is a really great place to get content. Many amateur and professional comic-makers post here to build an audience and get feedback.

18. Episodes

A choose your adventure style reading game. With light animations and teams of writers, the quality here is pretty good and pretty entertaining. Some debate whether this is considered “reading” but it’s certainly considered a storytelling app.

This app is particularly popular among teens and has millions of readers worldwide. Some of the stories feature celebrities or movie characters.

19. Hooked

A reading app mainly for teens under 20. The stories are “chat” stories where the story is told through dialogue between two characters. The stories are pretty clickbaity and have a ton of cliffhangers involved. I found the stories fairly repetitive and the writing quality to be pretty low, but the app seems fairly popular so clearly somebody enjoys them! I do read things on here every now and then. They can be fun.

20. Serial Box

An episodic novel app with stories written by a team of writers. This was founded by a former publisher. The quality of the writing is pretty good, but they do charge and there isn’t a ton of content on this app yet.

21. Yarn

This app is a copycat of Hooked above, but it’s evolved a bit. The stories are also told in the text-message dialogue format, but they have done a number of partnerships to bring in movie characters from Marvel and the TV show Riverdale. Pretty interesting.

Did you download all of these apps?

I did too! It’s hard to turn away great reads. Now that you have millions of stories on your phone, better get reading! See you in 100 years after you finish all of those stories and poems.

commaful writer for now, author in the making. reading is what inspired me