In case Amazon and the Barnes & Noble website don’t offer enough e-book choices, certain religious and interest groups have begun to develop apps that will allow enthusiasts to download subject specific texts that may be difficult to find in mainstream collections.
Deseret Book, a company owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “has introduced a new iPad and iPhone application that makes Mormon-themed books available for download,” according to this article in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Books may be downloaded through the free Deseret Bookshelf app to “any iDevices through the iTunes App Store,” allowing users to browse Mormon texts on their mobile devices. The Deseret Bookshelf is not limited to strictly religious texts, but includes anything Mormon-related, including “biographies, fiction, nonfiction, young-adult fantasy, self-help, and more.”
One of the most interesting features of the app is that it has made many formerly out-of-print items available to the general public. Also, the “cost of the e-books will be 45 percent lower than their print counterparts,” allowing people on tight budgets to enjoy more reading material.
I can easily see the use of having subject specific reader applications for mobile devices. Grouping e-books and other texts by material content makes it easy to find information on any given subject, for example, LGBT, ethnic or educational literature.
While the breadth and variety of Amazon makes it a great choice for casual reading selections, apps such as the Desert Bookshelf may prove to be even more useful for people interested in researching a particular subject and finding more obscure titles that might not be available on mainstream sites.