When I heard about Bookout, a new app that creates infographics of your reading life, I had to give it a try. Their tagline is: Reading made better. Did it in fact make my reading better? I’ll share my thoughts after I tell you a little more about the app 🙂
What does it do?
Bookout is an app that makes it possible for you to keep close track of your reading. Over time, it compiles statistics and creates infographics that show you your reading trends and habits.
How does it work?
Each time you’re about to read, you open the app, find the title of your book and tap “Start Reading.” This starts a timer that runs until you decide to stop reading, at which point you tap “Stop.” The app then prompts you to enter either how many pages you read or the percentage of the book you completed. You track every reading session, and when you finish the book, an infographic can be generated that shows stats such as total reading time for that particular book, reading speed (in pages per hour), most pages read in a day, etc. The app also provides overall reading stats, lets you set reading goals, and earn achievement awards.
An important note: all the features mentioned above are very limited if you only download the free version of the app. With the free version, you can add a maximum of 10 books, the overall reading stats are limited to the number of pages/hours read, and you can only set monthly goals. The paid “Pro” version is $4.99 and lets you add an unlimited number of books, gives much more detailed stats, and allows you to set yearly goals.
While the concept of the app really appeals to me and my book-nerdiness, it didn’t work on a practical level in my day-to-day reading life.
The tracking process would start off well. I’d add my book, start reading, and enter the necessary data when I finished the session. But the next time I picked up the book, more often than not, I’d forget about tracking. I’d be a good 20 minutes into my book or completely done reading before I’d remember to use the app.
Once I’d messed up one session, I felt that it wasn’t worth it to track that particular book anymore because all the statistics would be skewed. So, I didn’t follow through on tracking for the majority of the books I entered into the app.
Another problem I had was tracking audiobook reading. I often read books in both print and audio, going back and forth between the two. There was no easy way in the Bookout app to enter audiobook reading progress, since the only options for tracking are percentage and pages. Trying to do the math and figure out the percentage of the book I’d listened to was a bit more work than I was willing to do.
So, even though I love the idea behind Bookout, I don’t think I’ll use it much in the future. I recommend the app to readers who aren’t as forgetful as I am and who read only print. But until there’s a way to eliminate my human error and an easy way to enter audiobook reading, my stats will always be off, which defeats the whole purpose of the app.
Have you tried Bookout? Share your experience with the app in the comments below. Thanks!
Bookout logo image from www.apple.itunes.com