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7 best apps for reading (or listening) during your daily commute

7 best apps for reading (or listening) during your daily commute

Social media is a great way to stay connected with the world while on the go. It’s simple, entertaining and keeps the mind occupied for that 45-minute train ride to Orchard Road.

But sometimes, mindlessly scrolling through pictures can get a little mundane. Other times, you might find yourself hitting the refresh button more often than you want to.

But fret not. Before social media was invented, there’s this lovely thing called books. And these days, you don’t even need to tote around a physical copy, given that the popularity of e-books and audiobooks is on the rise.

So to switch things up, why don’t give this reading thing a go and kill time in a no less entertaining and informative way?

Below is a list of e-book reading apps for you to get started.


You might have turned to reading apps to jazz your daily commute up a little, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Just like any other digital library, Scribd features a wide selection of books. But what sets it apart from the rest is that it also offers audiobooks, magazine articles and sheet music amongst other things to keep those with varied interests occupied.

You can read Becoming Michelle Obama just as easily as you can opt to listen to it being read to you. Better yet, for audiobooks, you can customise the narration speed, set a sleep timer and even download them to listen offline.

As for the books, you can make notes and annotations just as you can download them to read offline. Memberships cost $8.99 a month. With a free 30-day trial, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

It is available on IOS and Android.


While they can’t compare to the New York Times bestsellers or classics such as Jane Eyre (although some do come close), Wattpad hosts a plethora of original stories written by users themselves. Yes, themselves.

It functions just like YouTube, but instead of posting videos, people can post their own story chapters on their account for millions to read – and it’s all free.

You might scoff at the quality of these stories, since the content on the platform has not been edited by professionals. But get this: Movies such as The Kissing Booth and After are some of the many online stories or fan fiction that got picked up by venerated publishers and better yet — had their stories taken to the big screens or to Netflix.

If you are looking for stories that are refreshing and new, this is the place to go.

It is available on IOS and Android. 


Reading while travelling on the go can be hard (and dangerous!) when you have to walk and see where you are going half the time, whether it’s switching trains or trying to cross the road. That begrudging feeling when you have to put your book down in order to concentrate on where you’re going? All too familiar.

But with an audiobook, you don’t have to do that. Consider Audible, an audiobook digital library by Amazon that makes your reading experience as smooth as possible. Unlike other regular audiobook sources, Audible is available not just on IOS and Android, but also on Sonos, Kindle and Alexa-enabled devices.

Yes, your Alexa can continue narrating your book even when you’ve put down your phone. But if you are still hesitant, the service has a 30-day trial and if you see its worth, it’s just $14.95 thereafter.

It is available on IOS, Android, Sonos, Kindle and Alexa-enabled devices.


Pocket is an app that allows you to curate articles, stories or videos that you want to read but might not have the time at that particular moment to do so. While it does not have its own digital library, the app still has its merits — it makes reading much easier. A simple click of a button allows you to save an article to Pocket. 

It then curates the links that you have saved in a list for you to casually scroll through and pick up whatever you have left on hold for the day. It’s a great way to keep up with the news without putting your life on a pause every now and then — because we know if we don’t read this article now, we won’t ever.

While its services are free, the app also offers premium plans for $4.99 a month or $44.99 per year. This would allow you to keep your saved articles permanently and backed up, and includes a full-text search function for your list and suggested tags to organize items that you've saved. 

It is available on IOS and Android. 



The long National Day/Hari Raya Haji weekend is in 14 days! We're here to help you pack some audiobooks for your weekend. Remember if you want to save on roaming costs, download the title to your device before heading overseas. In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, and including a star-studded guest list of vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by. Pack this audiobook for your long weekend with a free 14-day Storytel trial. After 14 days, the trial automatically converts into a subscription from $9.90/month. You can cancel anytime. #StorytelSG #Hiya #HelloSG #singapore_insta #audiobooks #ebooks #audiobookstagram #audiobooklover #bookstagram #book #books #bookworm #bookmark #bookshop #bookaddict #booknerd #booklover #bookstragrammer #booknerdigans #bestseller #famous #recommended #macam #TianTian #ChickenRice #Holiday #HashtagLove

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Founded by creators in Stockholm, Storytel is another subscription based service that offers audiobooks and e-books — the best of both worlds. It has over 120,000 titles in its repertoire and offers various plans for your needs.

An Unlimited plan ($9.90 a month) allows you unlimited access to the titles, with Kids Mode and Read Offline functions available. But if you are looking to share it with a sibling or a significant other, the Family plan might be a better deal.

It has the same options as the Unlimited plan but can accommodate two accounts for $14.90. And if you want to share with two other people, the Family Plus plan is just $19.90.

There’s a free 14-day trial for you to give the features a go.

It is available on IOS and Android. 


If you love comic books just as much as fiction or non-fiction titles, this is the app for you. While Marvin does not have its own digital library, the app offers a simple interface that opens digital comic and ebooks, and that includes titles such as Jane Eyre, Little Women and Marvel comics.

Just simply import your own files from Dropbox or Google Docs. Moreover, besides allowing you to highlight passages and sharing that with others, its comic reading interface boasts different viewing modes, reading light settings as well as zoom functions that we all know are integral when it comes to reading comics on our mobile devices.

And the best news yet? It’s all free.

It is available on IOS and Android. 

Amazon Kindle

Even if you do not have a glare-free display device that reads like real paper (we’re talking about the Amazon Kindle), the Amazon Kindle app gives you access to the same e-book library that Amazon Kindles have in store.

All e-books, including those with narration that you purchase on Amazon, can be read on the app. But better than a regular app that just houses the books you want, its newsfeed can help you source the best-reviewed and highly rated reads.

And there’s also a function where you can discuss the books with other readers, including passages and ideas that inspire you along the way. It’s fun, easy to use and interactive. If a monthly subscription might be too much commitment for you, it’s great news that the Amazon Kindle app allows you to pay per book.

It is available on IOS and Android. 

This article was first published in Her World Online. Permission required for reproduction.

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