2 FREE Online Library Apps to Help You Learn Creative Writing Now!
Recently, I’ve been wanting to really educate myself on creative writing.
I want to completely understand the best pace for an action sequence, intriguing yet natural dialogue, and world-building that feels so rich you believe it truly exists.
And, I want to learn all this without having to go into debt with expensive writing courses.
So what do I do?
Find an app, of course!
And today, I’ll show you 2 free apps that allow you to:
- check out and read books from your library in the comfort of your own home.
- learn creative writing now with little to no cost to you.
Yup, you can learn creative writing right now with the power of an app and a library card!
Keep reading and I’ll further discuss how to do this.
How does this help me learn creative writing?
By borrowing “how to write” or “creative writing” books from the library!
Is that too straightforward?
Maybe, but it’s a free resource available to all — you should take advantage of it.
You can have the power of an entire library’s catalog at your fingertips! Plus, in the comfort of your own home.
With all the books available, you can teach yourself creative writing rules and skills. Then put all that writing knowledge to practice at your own pace.
Being self-taught is as valid as any course or class you could take. The only downside is you don’t get feedback unless you have other writing friends.
The good news is, there are ways to find writing workshops or groups to get that kind of feedback (especially online).
Check out your local library’s website (or ask the nice help desk people) to see if there are any writing groups available.
If you prefer (or only have access to) online avenues, there are plenty of forums, there’s Reddit, and a lot of Discord servers!
There are actually a couple of ways to search for Discord servers. There’s Disboard, Discord Servers, and Discord Home. All of these allow you to type in any keywords, and find a Discord server for you!
Any of these places can give you an outlet to meet and chat with fellow writers!
But couldn’t I just go to a library?
Absolutely! Libraries are amazing resources, and you should visit them!
These apps are not for replacing going to libraries: they’re meant to be convenient.
The apps don’t have closing hours, and you don’t need to walk or drive to them.
The app is readily available on your phone, computer, or E-reader to use at your leisure.
This is great if you need more motivation or time to start learning, and wish there were fewer roadblocks to getting the resources you need.
Why not just watch some youtube videos or listen to a podcast?
You should do these, too!
Same as the libraries, this is not meant to replace any other resources.
Videos are different from podcasts, which are different from books, which are different from blog posts, which are different from forums, which are . . . okay, I’ll stop now. I think you get the point.
There are many different avenues of learning creative writing, and you can use any or all of them.
Not only for the sake of seeing all the different approaches and opinions, but also to find out how you prefer consuming this kind of content.
Would you rather sit and read actual words while you take notes? Or do you like listening more?
Do you want those actual words to be on a physical page? Or do you prefer an E-reader?
Does it work better to be physically active and listen? Or do you need to sit down and block everything else out?
Regardless of how you do it, try out everything and see what fits you best!
All right, you’re probably sick of me yammering on by now.
Go on ahead and read about the 2 free online library apps!
What is it?
Libby is an app you can use to check out library books for free on iOS, Android, and Fire OS devices (as well as web browsers).
How do I use it?
All you need is a library card (you can add multiple cards) and an internet connection. Once you have the app or website open, just enter the library card number on the back and you now have access to your library’s entire catalog of Ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and movies.
You can also download books to your device so you can read them when you’re offline. You can also download books to your Kindle.
Whatever your particular library owns!
However, that will also limit what’s available, since you’re borrowing from that specific library’s catalog. If you want a more diverse selection of books, you’ll have to add another library card from another library.
Some libraries offer cards to non-residents, but most will probably have a monthly or yearly fee for a library card. I’ve seen prices range from $10-$125 USD.
Libby is made by OverDrive, a company with an app of the same name that basically did what Libby does. OverDrive is currently replacing their app with Libby. So if you’re already using OverDrive, now might be a good time to switch over to Libby!
2. Open Library
What is it?
Open Library is a non-profit organization that seeks to archive every piece of writing, and have it all available for public consumption.
How do I use it?
You can either download the unofficial (but blessed by the organization) app for Android or iOS. You don’t need a library card, but you do need access to the internet and an account. There are a select few books you can read without an account, but you’ll have to make one to get access to everything or make lists.
If you don’t understand something, Open Library has an incredibly helpful FAQ to answer all your questions. There are some little things that can be confusing, and this FAQ can help answer almost all your questions.
They have a large collection of over 1,000,000+ books (both new and old), but unfortunately, they don’t have every book available (yet). Also, they might have a book archived, but not a digitized version that can be borrowed and read.
If you’re interested in donating to their organization, you can mail books to their headquarters in San Fransico, California!
Open Library is a child organization to Internet Archive! A non-profit organization that seeks to archive as much of the internet as possible and “. . . provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.” Here you can find a “. . . library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”
Go ahead and give them a look as well! Unless you already knew about them, in which case, ignore me and continue on with your life.
There’s one more special mention that didn’t fit with the above, but I thought should still have a place on the list.
Hoopla is an alternative to Libby. It works basically the same: you put your library card number into the app or website, and you have access to everything in your library’s catalog (“audiobooks, eBooks, comics, movies, TV, magazines, or music”). I’ve never used it myself, so I can’t comment on its quality or how to use it, but I wanted to share an alternative if you don’t like Libby.
And that’s it!
And those are the 2 (technically 3) free online library apps to help you learn creative writing now!
There are a lot of methods to learning creative writing, and some of them can be expensive or time-consuming (which can kill your motivation).
That’s why I like apps like Libby and Open Library: they can make learning a whole new skill much more accessible.
And I hope this post helps you find the motivation to start learning creative writing.
As always, thanks for reading, and happy writing!
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