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  • Books


  • Books
4.7K ratings
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User Reviews for SimplyE

A few tweaks & this app would be perfect!

Latest: since updating my app on August 12th, I cannot access any of my books or the catalog and keep being told I need to check my connection. Everything else on my phone is working so it’s not an internet issue. Previous review: I love the idea of this app - millions of library books at my fingertips! But it falls a little short as an e-reading app. I wish they would add scrolling view as an option instead of just tap to turn. I wish I could see a history of books I have read or reserved so I could keep track as sometimes I can’t read everything on my shelf before the loan period runs out. I wish that books that weren’t requested by someone else would automatically renew so I didn’t lose them (and my bookmark) halfway through even though they’re still available to borrow. I wish there was a % read detail. I wish that the book didn’t close/need to be reopened anytime I switched away from the app/my phone locked for a second. I wish books with images/illustrations didn’t get completely messed up/illegible.It also seems to have decided just today that my login credentials (as entered and perfectly acceptable in the app for the past six months) are invalid. I can’t borrow or reserve new books and some of my holds and books have disappeared. Very frustrating indeed.

BeaniePhoto, Aug 13, 2020

Many of the complaints I have are already detailed by other users. For a huge public library system like the NYPL it’s hard to fathom why so many basic functions of other e-readers aren’t in this app. One complaint that I haven’t seen in other reviews (though I only read a few) is that I reserved a book that was unavailable for several weeks, and when it finally was available, there was no direct email or message to me other than a little dot showing a notification in the app, which could easily be overlooked. But there was no info whatsoever about how many days I had to claim it. After 2 or 3 days it was gone, back to reserved status again. I also wish there were an option to renew a book. 3 weeks is just not enough time to read very long books, particularly nonfiction. The one I had on reserve is over 1000 pages, and I’d never get through something like that in just 21 days.

DMTobisk, Jun 25, 2020
Almost perfect!

Been using this app recently to read on my commute, and I love how seamless everything is! The experience is five stars, but I docked one for a couple features that would be nice:1) a way to add books to a list/favorite books without checking them out. I thought this would be available via the “my books” tab but it’s not. Sometimes I see a couple of books I want to read, but I don’t want to reserve them both at the same time because I don’t want to hold them up while someone else might want them. Unfortunately there’s no way to keep a “to read” list in the app. Being able to create a list or backlog of items that I can refer to when it’s time to pick up a new book would be amazing. 2) echoing checkout history - it would be nice to be able to access a record of what I’ve already checked out, so at least if I did have to return something without reading it, I can come back to it later.

Ellllaaaa, Jan 04, 2022
LOVE this app!

This app is absolutely amazing. Why? 1: it doesn’t need internet to work. Yes, internet or cellular service is required to download, return, or browse the catalog, but one can read any already downloaded book with no internet at all. This is important to me as someone without a SIM card, because all my other apps need WiFi connection to work. 2: you can reserve books. SimplyE makes it so easy to reserve books. Just open the book, tap ‘reserve,’ and you can see it in reservations with an estimated time period it will be available in and what number in line for the book you are, as well as the number of copies on hand. 3: you can change the appearance of the text in the app. Forgot your reading glasses? You can easily make the text larger. Want to feel like you’re reading a real book? You can change the text background to that realistic creamy color we all know and love. Or, if you’re reading at night, you can select a black background and white text and adjust the brightness of the screen right there in the app. AMAZING!!!Probably my most used app and well designed, SimplyE is easy to use, practical, and folks here at SimplyE usually correct any problem I submit a request for within days.

Enzo Einstein, Jun 27, 2021
AMAZING App & Customer Service!!

I have downloaded SimplyE for quite some time now, and I want to reassure anyone reading this that I have encountered 0 issues so far. The UI of the app is very simple and easy to use. There are dozens of libraries accessible through this app, as well as a collection by SimplyE. On top of all this, the customer service is impeccable! I once had an unexpected error accessing my titles, so I sent an email reporting my problem. A couple of hours later, I got an email that throughly guided me to the different ways I could resolve the problem. It also had detailed instructions about where I could access my library’s titles, if the problem continues, while they tried to fix it.All in all, this app is just amazing!!

Fares Nada, Jan 06, 2021
Great but could be better

This is a great app for avid readers. Here’s how it could be better (I hope the developers are reading): 1. A way to gauge how far you are into a book and how much more is left. 2. Email or text notifications when your book is ready (bummer to wait months for a book, then lose it when you don’t see its available). 3. A way to leave reviews of books. 4. A reading log, that shows you what you’ve read to date. 5. An indicator on the app icon when it’s closed that you have a book available. 6. Some notice of how many days you have to check out a book before you loose it. 7. A history of books you’ve failed to check out, and lost, so you can get back in the queue easily. 8. A list of books you’d like to read, to make it easy to check out new ones when you’re ready. 9. A way to email a link to good books to your friends who use the app. I’m sure there are more, but this would be a great start. That said I do LOVE having a book on my phone at all times, for the low cost of paying my taxes. :) Thanks NY Public Library!

HastingsNext, Jul 25, 2018
It’s great! Just a few recommendations -

First things first: I love this app. I have gotten so much into reading again, and I’m really grateful that it’s so easy for me to read these amazing books in the palm of my hand. My only issues are that 1. there is currently no way to see what books I’ve read/reserved in the past. This is an issue because sometimes I run out of time to read something, it disappears, and I can’t remember what it was. 2. some titles that are widely available at any physical library aren’t there, and there’s no suggestion as to how we might find one, which again seems like it would be an easy fix, given that the library website has this information. A message like “sorry, this title is not available in SimplyE, but there is currently 1 copy at X library” would be a lot more helpful than simply not showing up in the search engine. Otherwise, really amazing app!

JCoSparkling, Nov 11, 2019
Sometimes unusable but great selection because of NYPL

The idea is great, however there are glitches and features present in other apps which would be greatly appreciated. Often it says a book is available but once you go to check it out it puts the book on the waitlist and sometimes does this several times making it impossible to check out a book even when a. A notification comes in saying that the book is now available and b. The app has been deleted and redownloaded. When this glitch is happening, it makes the app effectively unusable. There are also sometimes glitches with the download process. Also, Audiobooks can only be sped up to 2x speed which is still painfully slow because of the reading speed of some audiobooks. Making 3-4x speed would be greatly appreciated as well as a space to request that books be added to the catalogue.

Mandalay21, Dec 15, 2021
Problems are fixed, thank you!

Update: all is fixed and I didn’t lose my books or my queue. Thank you!1. All the books in my queue now goes into “My Books” tab, with a button to download, even though I know that just earlier today (before the update) I still had to wait for weeks for them to be available for me.2. When I click “Download”, the button switches to “Read”, seemingly showing that the book has been downloaded successfully and now ready to read3. When I click “Read”, an error message says “Could not display book - This book is corrupt and cannot be read”. 4. Nothing I can do to fix this error message, including quitting the app.5. There is no option to remove the books from “My Books”. There’s no other button other than “Download”6. All other new books that were not previously in the queue also get the same treatment as all the points noted below. None of them go to waitlist. All of them shows that it’s ready to read but when you click it, it shows the same “corrupt” message7. Why is there no option to report the bug with screenshots???It’s so frustrating! I agree with the review before me that says that every time there’s an update, this app becomes worse!

Ne9999, Feb 25, 2018
Love it, but lotsa major glitches lately

I love the idea of this app, and the few books I have been able to download have been so wonderful and enjoyable. BUT, lately I am growing more and more frustrated that, after waiting days and weeks for reserved books to be available, 9 out of 10 of them I cannot actually “get” from the reservation tab, and those that do make it into my list of books, the majority just won’t download. I will get a note that my book is available to “get”, but then when I press on “get”, it goes right back to my reserved list. And, then for the books that make it to my list of available books to read or listen to, it’s so incredibly disappointing that when I press on listen, I just get an error message or a repeated message that the chapter isn’t finished downloading. I’ve waited days and weeks, still not finished. It’s not downloading. I have reported these problems repeatedly and keep looking for updates for this app… and nothing. I love this app so much and I love to read and listen to books, but lately the app is more of a joy kill than anything.

TamaraBronx, Oct 30, 2021


SimplyE makes it easy to browse, borrow, and read any eBook in your library’s collection on your mobile device; no need to download multiple apps. Set up your account in three easy steps: 1. Open the SimplyE app 2.

Find your local library 3. Enter your library card ID to search, borrow, and read! Don’t have a library card? No problem. Thousands of public domain classics are available as soon as you download the app, no library card required. SimplyE was created by a partnership of libraries and library consortia across the country, with The New York Public Library currently serving as lead partner. Check with your local library to find out if it offers SimplyE, or download the app now to get started reading from the SimplyE Collection.

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