Shelfie, an iOS app that’s available free of charge for the iPhone and iPod touch, makes it easier than ever for users to catalog and share their book collection. But that’s not all: the folks behind the app also allow iOS device owners to claim free (or “heavily discounted”) e-books using the app, too.
The process works like this: After downloading Shelfie and snapping a picture of (a portion of) your bookshelf, the application scans through the image, recognizes text, and creates a digital catalog of the books in your collection. Of course, you’ll need to snap picture after picture if you have several full bookcases. That could take a while.
Unfortunately in our testing, Shelfie seemed to hang on its Uploading Shelfies phase, meaning we couldn’t proceed with further testing (at least, not on an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 9.0). However, other users have had success with Shelfie. From here, the app promises to match your paper books with digital e-books, which are offered either free of charge or at reduced rates.
The app’s release notes explain:
- Take a picture of your bookshelf (Shelfie) to see what books are eligible.
- Take a photo of the front cover of your paper book.
- Take a photo of the copyright page with your name handwritten on it.
- Check the ebooks tab in the app. Download and start reading!
There’s a heavy social hook in the app, too, with support for Goodreads baked into Shelfie.
You can download Shelfie now on the App Store; it’s optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch, and is available free of charge. You’ll need iOS 8.1 or above to run the application. For anyone with a big book collection at home, this could be a great addition to your iOS device.