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BY SEAN CLARK

Shortcovers is a sort of cross between the Kindle app and Wattpad. Like Wattpad everything is online, customization and formatting are limited, and a degree of user conectivity has been implemented (via sharing chapters via email or twitter, and  posting comments). That it is web-based is really the main letdown, as it was with Wattpad, since users are left with little security in their purchases (there’s very little free content) because they are unable to download them, and need web access to read them. And if Shortcovers goes belly up, poof goes your library.

Like the Kindle app, Shortcovers offers access to many popular books, allows for user comments and ratings, and makes available sample chapters for free download. It also utilizes a degree of cross-platform utility, allowing you to login to your account on Shortcovers.com and access your books on your computer (through a web browser of course).

Because it’s web-based, reading on Shortcovers reads more like reading an online article or blog post than it does a book. You can change the font size, buts thats about it. Text scrolls to a page length that is about what I imagine the average online article is  before cutting of to another page. For most books the first chapter is free to read with additional chapters available for purchase. You can also purchase an entire book (which makes more sense than paying for mere chapters of a book). Book prices seem to hover around the $8-$13 for the most part.

While Shortcovers isn’t at all a fully functional reader app, there are users out there who might find this to be the right product for them. If you want online access to current titles across mutliple computers/devices, and don’t mind reading novels in web page form, then give Shortcovers a (free) download from the app store. Try a sample chapter. If it works for you, buy a book and leave some comments (write us a review while you’re at it) otherwise try something else.

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