Enjoy Fine Literature On Your iPad With McSweeney’s App

The wonderful thing about iPads is that they can do (almost) everything. Not only can they simulate having a real computer, they can also simulate an e-reader. Along with having general apps to do this such as the Kindle app or iBooks, there is also McSweeney’s, an reading app that has the feel of sitting in a smokey coffee shop, that is if you could find one where smoking is still allowed.

This app is by the same folks that run the McSweeney’s literary journal. The website explains it started in 1997 with the purpose of publishing only the literary works that were rejected by other magazines, but soon it became so known for this type of literature, that pieces were being written specifically for McSweeney’s. With a commitment to “finding new voice,” McSweeney’s has developed a following.


With the McSweeney’s app, it allows subscribers to keep up with all their favorite obscure literary work. The download is free, but it requires you to register at the website for a subscription. They give you the first month’s subscription for free to try out the service, but after that month, they’ll hit you up to start paying. Once you register, it notifies you that the subscription is different than the one required at the McSweeney’s website, but they are working on a way to combine the two.


In the McSweeney’s app, it offers you a few different items for free, and also allows you the chance to buy other literature direct from the McSweeney’s store. The store offers a selection of e-books from $.99 on up through $19.99. Clicking “Buy” pays for the app through your iTunes account. Once purchased, the content is included in the Library within the app.


The free content includes everything imaginable, from stories to comics to art to films, and it’s updated daily. This content includes Internet Tendency, a collection of articles from the website. This includes reviews, interviews, contests, and even first-person accounts, such as the one pictured below about one reporter’s trip to Afghanistan.


This content also includes Small Chair, a collection of stories, interviews, films, and more. The e-book pictured below is explained in the app as a “Small Chair Welcome-Mat Bonus Story.” This content from Small Chair is provided free in the first month, but is only allowed after that with a monthly subscription.


If you’re bored with the best-sellers being offered on the Kindle app, and can never seem to find what you want on iBooks, the unique content on the McSweeney’s app could be just what you’re looking for. If you’re away from home and your iPad, the app works just as well on your iPhone.

McSweeney’s App

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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