Ever wish there was a Netflix for books? Well, it exists…
Ever since I was little, I’ve adored reading. One of my favourite places as a kid was the little cafe my family visited every Saturday for brunch — it’s red and white plasticy tables were overlooked by shelves of second-hand books, and as my aunties and uncles nattered away I used to busy myself with their yellow pages. Each week I’d take on different worlds, racing through the pages as my toast got cold. My nan called me her little bookworm — and I was, forever buried in the next chapter as my little cousins raced around me.
Reading is probably the only thing that keeps me sane during my Northern line commute. So it’s no surprise that one of the best discoveries I’ve made in the last few months means I can pretty much read as much as I like as the tube chugs it’s way under London. Introducing my favourite new thing: a little app called Blloon. You know when you have one of those ‘where have you been all my life’ moments? Finding this was one of those, and then some.
Developed by a Berlin based startup, Blloon is literally like Netflix… but for books. Built on a similar subscription basis, it allows you to download and read up to 10,000 pages a month for £7.99 a month. It’s already got 700,000 titles in it’s library, and I’ve no problem finding some that have been on my wishlist for months, including James Rhodes devastating ‘Instrumental’, Khaled Hosseini’s ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ and E. Lockhart’s ‘We Were Liars’. Obviously there are still a fair few publishers missing, but this app isn’t really for new releases — instead, it’s a brilliant way of trying authors and titles which have previously passed me by.
I still love physical books; I tend to buy my favourites in paperback once I’ve finished reading them in a digital format, just so I can have them — and I’ll definitely continue to do so. But Blloon’s startup are onto an absolute winner here, and I can’t wait to see how it grows.
Blloon is available to download on iPad and iPhone now.
Originally published at quietlondoner.com on July 5, 2015.