9 Best Apps for Reading Books

9 Best Apps for Reading Books copy
9 Best Apps for Reading Books copy

Table of Contents

9 Best Apps for Reading Books copy

In this blog, we will be sharing with you the top apps for reading books. But let’s start with some introduction before we jump in!

The identity of book lovers has been long associated with leaning heads on window sills, and the mingling fragrances of sizzling coffee with ink on paper. 

The smell of an old book in-fact is known to have the calm meditative effect of fresh air, filling in a reader with the nostalgia of experiences that he may not necessarily have had. 

Reading then has never been just a hobby for most readers. It is a passion they nourish with stacked shelves, featured editions, and stimulating indulgence.

With technology replacing almost all other experiences in our lives, it is no surprise that reading has also become digital. Scrolling text has almost replaced book stores, and e-books now seem to be leading a shift in culture.

We are not far away from the day when a printed copy, like an audio cassette or VCR tape, will be found just in museums or antique shops. In this context, e-book apps can’t afford to be online banks of already published books.

They have the additional responsibility of creating an experiential equivalent of reading a book. This is because when readers migrate from the physical phenomenon of reading a book to its paperless equivalent, the reading process seamlessly complements everything they wish to read. 

Thus, in this, not so exhaustive list of the top ebook apps for readers, the parameters of review are more experiential than technical. We look at this portable reading alternative from a consumer’s view.

1. Wattpad

Calling Wattpad an app of e-books is debatable, considering the content available on it. Ideal for beginners or light readers, this online reading platform features stories and fan-fiction from contributors and writers who are more hobbyists than professionals. The material is mostly sub-standard and far from the published collections featured by its competitors. 

The strength of the app can easily be its community, which lets users connect with each other for an exchange of ideas and opinions. Wattpad is actually more of a writer’s medium, where comments and responses from the ones reading can help the writer grow. 

With its Watty awards and facebook plug-in, Wattpad is a popularity contest. Serious readers can choose to browse their snackable content when they feel like taking a break from the real stuff.

2. Libby

Libby, as its name suggests, is the digital equivalent of a library. An innovation by Overdrive, it was introduced to make the digital distribution of e-books easier. Based on a library subscription model makes the download and usage of this online book reader free of cost for users. 

Libby, in fact, helps you digitally leverage a library subscription that you might already have. It does so bt letting you borrow and read all the books available in that particular library.

Its colorful features make learning fun and engaging, and the friendly interface allows you to shelf, hold, and tag a book to others while reading it. Its sample reading feature helps you get a taste of a particular book before you borrow it for a read. 

On the other hand, some users complain about spending more time on the loading window instead of the book they want to read, although this may vary from system to system. 

The biggest problem with the app, however, is that its current geographical presence limits it. For example, you can easily tag your membership to the New York public library but might be able to track a Bombay based library in it. 

Libby’s beautiful UI and its simplicity have earned it as one of the best apps for reading books.

3. Rakuten Kobo

While social media has made almost all aspects of one’s life public, Rakuten’s Kobo app for reading books is primarily known for its social reading structure. You can use your Facebook account to log in to the app and read with peers, although making friends while reading is also what is attractive about this online book reader free for download. 

With attributes like statistics to record the hours spent reading and awards for sharing books or excerpts online, this app seems to have meticulous and obsessive readers as its clear target. 

Its awards feature is addictive and rewarding and brilliantly works for beginners who need to incentivize reading to regularize it. 

The biggest drawback with Kobo is that even the free e-books need to first be downloaded to be read. This takes up significant data usage over both mobile internet and WiFi and makes the reading experience unnecessarily complicated.

4. Moon+ Reader

One of the simplest online apps for reading books, Moon+ Reader, is customizable, friendly, and fun. 

Its pros include the massive online library of audiobooks and e-books that it routes a reader to, the floating fiction button that lets you switch to the text you were reading almost instantly, and the audio feature that reads out the text when you are too tired to.  Its all-encompassing interface allows readers to import books from other platforms and customize the app to their preference. 

Its repeated ads and constant nudging to switch to the pro-feature can easily make it an annoying app for readers. The fact that it gets auto access to the local files on your phone or tablet can be extremely unnerving and, in most cases, a big put-off. Unlike other available app for books, Moon + Reader, doesn’t really acquire too many titles, and it usage is apt to read e-books that one already owns. 

5. Google Play Books

Like almost everything associated with Google, its app for books is smooth and straightforward. As vast and fast as a Google search, it encompasses books in a multitude of languages, genres, themes, and styles. 

Its signatory blue color and a bland interface can get monotonous at times, but its range of both paid and free e-books makes it one of the decent apps for readers today. It contains both audiobooks and e-books to offer a wider variety for the audience. 

Features like the ability to bookmark pages, download collections and share paraphrases make it suitable for academic readership and reference. Based on your selection of genres and authors, Google sends you recommendations along with free samples, significantly easing your journey. 

However, if you are looking for a cool and hep apps for reading books, Playbooks may not be your pick.

6. ComiXology

While this is comic book heaven, this app is not for those who are looking for an online book reader free of cost. Its subscription comes with a minimal fee, but after subscribing, most comic books have to be purchased. 

A premium look and feel makes this nerdy app for readers a big hit amongst those who see comic books as a passion, with filtration based on genres, creators and publishers. What is most interesting is the fact that the app seems to almost intuitively know what one likes to read (on the basis previous readings of course), and its perfect permutations get it to recommend the comics you are most definitely going to read.

The app boasts of a fast, robust functionality in iOS, as well as Android versions and its attractive illustrations, make one forget that the book is on their tablet and not on their phone.

 Users have been guilty of attempting to leaf from one page to another instead of swiping. One can easily use this with their amazon account to replace paper filled shelves and still bask in the sheer pride of owning an a-class collection of comic books from across the world.

7. Storytel

A beautiful app for readers of all ages, the Swedish Storytel well marks its territory in the market for the ones who buy and read any book online. Its interface is beautifully coherent across devices. Its facility to adjust the speed of audio, this app for readers comes closest to reading a story to yourself. 

Its blog section lets you know of the most read material, thereby giving you access to the best from around the world. Its nominal subscription fee enables you to read most of its collection without paying anything extra.

You can easily filter your bookshelf basis how much you have finished reading from each book. Its local interface for each location makes its global in its very core, and it is hard to believe that the app originated anywhere except in the country where you are reading it. In India for example, the app has the most significant number of vernacular offerings, with books in more than ten different languages. 

While it is positioned as an audiobook app in most of its mainstream communication, Storytel offers e-books as well, and that is where its only draw-back lies. For users who are looking specifically for an e-reader, this might not be an ideal choice.

8. Amazon Kindle

Available at a remarkably small download size of 2.3 MB, it is no wonder that Amazon Kindle is ruling the app stores as one of the most preferred apps for reading books on the go. 

Needless to say, the technology’s features shine most when one is reading on the Kindle device, it is spectacular to know that you can translate words and understand the context, without really leaving the page you are on. Its dual audio feature comes handy to know the pronunciation of certain words, and even when you have been looking at the screen for too long. 

Kindle’s royal spread of literature includes fiction, non-fiction and everything in between, with classics and modern masterpieces all available on a single search. 

Its drawback is that most features don’t function properly outside of the kindle device, and many users face difficulties when they download the app on their iOS or Android systems. Issues range from inaccessibility to complete e-book collections and off-sync last-read records to frequent accidental purchases from linked accounts.

9. Audible

Going beyond the conventional reading of the text, Audible almost creates a show out of its signature stories – Audible Originals with attractive sound design, energetic background music, and character-based voice overs. 

Its fascinating collection in various languages is unique and unparalleled by any other audio app for books. One can seamlessly sync an account across devices, letting you pick up a story exactly where you left it. 

Each read gives you a credit point that can be encashed later and its awards based on reading milestones encourage new readers. Once you have finished reading an audiobook that you purchases, you are free to exchange it for another one.  

Its three-month free trial is the longest amongst all its counterparts, but you will most likely need less than that to get addicted to it. If you are looking for a reliable app for books, Audible can easily be trusted to have the best bestsellers from across the world.

As one can quickly notice, the essential features in most of these apps for reading books are pretty much the same, however the distinguishing factor germs from the experience they evoke in a user. 

The reason for this may be that the technology for creating an app for readers has reached a peak where innovation is not really the next step. What matters is the way this base is redefined, in newer and more attractive ways. This in-fact should be unanimous learning for most people who create apps, that even though on the onset an app may seem like a product, it is a service being edged out for users, the success of which lies potentially in its interface.

If you’re looking to build a custom mobile application for your business, you can get in touch with us. We can help you simplify your business challenges with the use of technology.

Published: February 27, 2020
Last updated: March 1, 2024


Mubasshir Pawle
Mubasshir Pawle serves as the COO of Eiosys, where his role is pivotal in leading the custom software development team. A developer at heart, Mubasshir thrives on creating bespoke software solutions, leveraging his mastery in Node.js, Flutter, and React.js technologies. His significant contributions to Stack Overflow underline his commitment to the tech community. With a track record of delivering hundreds of mobile apps and websites globally, Mubasshir's technical acumen and dedication have been instrumental in Eiosys's success.

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