Whether you’re looking to read ebooks, magazines, textbooks, or comics, these apps are perfect for turning your phone or tablet into your own personal library.
The average smartphone can store hundreds -- if not thousands -- of books.
If you’re looking for more ways to customize your reading experience -- and extra places to find awesome new reads -- our research shows these 6 apps are the best ebook apps available in 2019.
1. Amazon’s Kindle App
The Kindle app is a one-two punch of e-book awesomeness. It offers easy access to Amazon’s massive selection of e-books and e-book services while also allowing you to read directly from the app.
If you have multiple devices -- such as a tablet or e-reader -- any books read in the Kindle app will automatically sync your position and notes to your other devices to make it easy to pick up right where you left off.
Being an Amazon app, the major purpose is to introduce you to books on sale at Amazon. So you’ll find a few ads placed among the various pages of the app. But it’s nothing too intrusive.
The biggest downside to the app is the lack of file support. The app only supports AZE, MOBI, PRC, TXT, PDF, and POBI files.
While you can convert books to read on the Kindle app, there’s plenty of other readers out there that will read EPUBs, CBZs, and other files the Kindle app won't. So just grabbing another app in addition to the Kindle app is likely easier for reading unsupported file formats.
2. Libby by Overdrive
Libby by Overdrive puts your local library’s book collection in the palm of your hand. All you need to sign up is a library card.
The app allows you to search the e-book library, check out e-books and audiobooks, and read them right within the app. No need to transfer them to other devices or use extra programs to open them.
Everything within the app is free. However, the selection will depend on what your local library systems offers. Still, if a book is out of stock, you can always reserve a place in the queue. The app will then notify you when the book is available to check out.
When your book is due for return, the app will automatically return it. So there are zero worries about late fees. You can even extend the due date if no one is waiting to read the book.
The biggest downside to the app is the potential wait for really popular releases. If you want guaranteed access to a book, buying is probably a better choice. Still, for a 100% free and legal way to access a huge collection of books, Libby is really nice.
Scribd is one part reading app, one part subscription service. So the free label is a tad misleading.
However, for an affordable monthly subscription fee, you get access to a huge range of ebooks and audiobooks. There’s also harder to find content such as magazines, sheet music, case studies, medical reports, and academic dissertations.
It’s an interesting collection -- especially for those who don’t always use the bestseller lists to guide their reading choices or want access to a huge collection of non-fiction content.
The app itself allows for extensive customization of everything from font sizes and background colors to speeding up audiobook narration and saving files for offline viewing.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to sign up for a subscription, Scribd offers a free trial to check out their selection and get a feel for how the app works. Just be sure to cancel before the trial is over or you’ll find charges on your bill.
4. KyBook 2 Ebook Reader
KyBook 2 has excellent support for a huge range of file formats -- including Amazon’s AZW3.
While it doesn’t include a store, extensive cloud storage support and OPDS-catalog support means you can connect it to a wide range of catalogs -- including Calibre and Project Gutenberg and access your files without having to email files or find a USB cable to transfer them to your iPad or iPhone.
If you love to keep your e-books organized, the app allows you to edit the metadata and use alternate book covers to get your collection looking exactly how you’d like.
There’s also dictionary support, social media integration, and text-to-speech to turn any e-book into a narrated audiobook.
It might be the prettiest app around, but it does its job well and provides plenty of options for customizing your reading experience.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Get it: for iOS
5. Moon+ Reader
Moon+ Reader offers a wealth of options for anyone looking for an Android app to read e-books on their phone or tablet.
Extensive customization and theme support make it easy to set up day and night modes for reduced eyestrain and bluelight exposure in any environment or adjust font sizes and the like for multiple readers.
File support is also excellent. Unless you bought your book on Amazon, there’s a good chance Moon+ Reader can open it.
Support for cloud storage and OPDS-catalogs also makes it simple to skip syncing files over USB or emailing books to yourself.
Like most e-book reading apps, Moon+ Reader includes highlighting, bookmarks, social sharing, a dictionary, and can even sync book progress using cloud storage if you like to read on multiple devices.
The free version includes ads and locks some of the advanced customization options and presets. However, the upgrade price is affordable and the developers issue frequent updates to add value to your purchase.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Get it: for Android
6. Aldiko Book Reader
If your favorite book source uses Adobe DRM to protect their files, Aldiko Book Reader makes accessing your books on your mobile device simple.
It’s also great for EPUB files and PDFs.
The interface is rather basic. But if the options of a more complex reader intimidate you, that might be a good thing.
There’s a built-in selecting of online book sources -- both free and paid -- if you need to jumpstart your reading collection or you’re looking for a specific book.
Overdrive integration also allows you to check out e-books and audiobooks from your local library and download them for offline listening or reading.
The free version of the app offers everything you need to get up and running and read your e-books. But it also tacks ad onto the experience.
Upgrading to the Premium version removes ads, allows you to add notes to books, and allows unlimited audiobooks in your catalog. So for many, this is a worthwhile purchase.
There’s never been a better time to be an avid reader.
E-book apps allow you to carry a lifetime supply of books and enjoy your favorite reads wherever you go.
So which app is best for reading e-books?
It’s hard to pick a single winner. They’re all so different and take a different approach.
If you’re looking for a powerful e-book app to read your existing collection of DRM-free e-books, stand-alone reading apps -- such as Moon+ Reader and KyBook 2 -- provide great support for e-books across a wide range of file types.
Want easy access to the latest best-sellers? Apps with built-in stores -- such as Amazon’s Kindle app -- make it easy to buy new books, magazines, and other reading material anywhere you have a data connection or Wi-Fi signal.
Want to read for free? Libby by Overdrive puts your local library system in your pocket.
For non-fiction content, Scribd’s unique collection offers reports, textbooks, studies, and other content you won’t find anywhere else.
It’s all a matter of needs. And there’s nothing saying you can’t install them all.
Fortunately, most e-book reading apps are free -- or cost very little -- so it's easy to try out a few and see which one fits you best.
P.S. If you love to read, a dedicated e-reader might be an even better fit than these e-book apps. Our e-reader reviews make it easy to compare leading options from the best manufacturers to find an e-reader that fits your needs.
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