Since starting University, you can probably imagine, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I’m required to be clued up, not only on academic texts, but how the world around me is adapting and changing in regards to my subject. Of course, it came to no surprise that, as an English student, I’d have to become a pro when it comes to reading. Luckily for me, I found the most perfect app that I can use, not only to archive my favourite reading material but one that will suggest reading material for me and thus widen my topical knowledge - it’s a Uni Students dream! The app that I’m describing is Pocket. I’m sure a handful of you have already got the app happily sitting there on your phone or your desktop but, for those of you missing out, here’s why you should be downloading the best app for making you a better reader.

Firstly, I'll let you know exactly what I use this app for. As an English Language Student, a lot of my research is based on topical evidence - studies must always take into mind how the world around me is moving and shaping and how exactly that impacts language use. Compared to a typical maths student, this means English Language students have to look up from their textbooks a lot more often. For me, I really didn't want to go subscribing to Newspapers or Magazines in the mere hope that something English Language would pop up every blue moon. Nor did I want to sit and scour the endless swirls of the internet archives for the rest of my life. Pocket came into play right here and it was stepping up to Premium that made the app exactly what I needed

But wait, let me just tell you how this works first. The app can be added as a button on your phone or laptop. This means that, when you're scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or your favourite online news source, you can simply share the link to Pocket where it will be stored for you to read at a later date and even when you're offline. The basic level of Pocket means that you can download these articles/texts from over 800 apps, so you're almost definitely guaranteed that your favourite news source will be there.
One of my favourite features with Pocket is the automatic device syncing system. I have the application installed on my iPhone and my MacBook but that certainly doesn't mean that I have a mixture of articles jotted around the place - my saved downloads sync easily between devices which means that, wherever I am, whether it's at home, in the library, or even in the bath, I can have a read through one of my chosen texts.

As you build up an archive of content that you want to read or is relevant to your studies, you can then tag these items into more niche fields. For example, I've saved a bunch of texts into My List but, to save myself searching through them all when there's one in particular that I want to read, I can either search for its title or with Premium, search for it by Tags. I have one particular Tag called 'Accents' where I store all of my saved articles that are discussing accents.
Another related feature that Premium brings along here is suggesting tags. I have one article downloaded that is titled 'Why are there so many Posh British Accents in Star Wars'. While I choose to tag this one as 'Accents', Pocket Premium will present suggested tags such as 'Movies', 'Film' and 'Star Wars'. This feature makes tagging your items so much quicker and, overall, categorising them in this way, makes the world of articles so much neater and right in your hand.
Not only does premium allow me to search using Tags, but I can also search by Topic, Author, and even text pieces. Finding what you're looking for was never easier - I would never be able to go back to digging through the internet after this. With a tighter schedule, this certainly saves Students a bunch of time.

Of course, it doesn't stop there; while both basic and Pocket Premium provide brilliant customer support (which I think is one of the keys to a good brand), whether you need a simple question answering or help with your account, I found them really efficient and professional. But, Pocket Premium is completely the gift that keeps giving - uninterrupted ad-free experiences as well as a permanent archive. This means that, if the authors remove or change the text, you will have it saved away in your safe and soft blanket of Pocket. As a student, I never know when I'm going to need to refer back to these texts and I can imagine that there'd be nothing more devastating than being half-way through an essay only to find that one of your sources has disappeared from your sight.

So how does this make you a better reader?

This Publishers Weekly Article discusses the key things that make you a better reader. But what do we mean when we say 'a better reader'? How can we all improve on something so ritualistic and natural? The article explains perfectly that "reading takes time" and, I'm sure you'll all agree that, in the 21st Century, we're all living and breathing the desire to make things easier, quicker and more efficient, thus becoming a 'better reader' is becoming more and more necessary.

The points in the article that I found the most useful included: the idea that it's important to put down a book if you aren't enjoying it. What is the point of reading the material if it's not benefiting you or opening your mind to inspiration and thoughts? This resonates with the use of Pocket to me - if you choose an article to read in Pocket and don't like it halfway through, there's no buyer's remorse; you didn't fork out your wages to buy that one piece of text so removing it from your list is fine-and-dandy, just add in another text of your choice, and another, and another.

Similarly, it's essential to skim. If you hadn't already realised, not every piece of information is important within a text. With the majority of Pocket content being news articles and other digital content, there's often a lot of information to take in at once. It's great to teach yourself the skill of picking out the most vital information. Using Pocket as your source of information from across the internet means you can learn this skill anywhere from sitting on the Tube or your sofa.

As much as we all dream of living in a home where the walls are faced like that of a Lois Lowry Library, it sure would take up a bunch of space. The Gretchen Rubin article states that 2 of the crucial ways to be better at reading are having 'plenty of material on hand' and 'keep it handy'. You can see where I'm going here, right? Using Pocket completes those two things with a big-fat TICK but, instead of needing to install bookshelves all around you, the texts that you want will always be saved into the small, wondrous world of your device, subject to your use whenever you wish.

So what is it that makes you a better reader?
Are you on Pocket? Let's be friends - search aliceg17!

*This post was sponsored by Pocket.


  1. I use pocket for keeping blog posts I really enjoyed! Especially if it’s something I know I’ll want to come back to in the future, like tips or recommendations.

    Harriet | HarrietCh xo

    1. Yes! It's so fabulous for that kind of thing too! :D