The 10 Best Book Reading Apps of 2019

Take your library wherever you go

Drawing of a group of people reading ebooks on their smartphones while leaning on a giant green paper book.

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Consumers are no longer suffering from a lack of choice when it comes to quality ebook apps on their smart devices. Where once bookaholics were limited to just one or two major free book reading apps on an iPad, now there’s a growing list of high quality apps for Android, iOS, and Windows devices that support not just purchased and free ebooks, but audiobooks and numerous file types as well.

Here are some of the best ebook reader apps everyone should try at least once.

01
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Best Free Book Reading App: Media365 Book Reader

Media 365 ebook app on an iPhone XS smartphone..

Media 365

What We Like

  • Massive library of popular and niche ebooks that can be read for free.

  • Ability to import your own ebook files for reading in the app.

What We Don't Like

  • Offline reading requires a $1.99 upgrade.

  • Requires iOS 10 and up, which leaves out some older Apple devices.

Media365 is a free reading app for iOS and Android that lets anyone read any of the books in its library in exchange for the occasional fullscreen advertisement. Authors can self-publish on the Media 365 platform, which is why there are so many niche and indie titles available, but there are also a large number of mainstream books available like the entire Harry Potter book series.

The Media 365 library stores eBooks in 15 different languages, while font size can be adjusted simply by doing a two-finger pinch on the screen. There’s also a text-to-speech function, which lets the app read books to you. You can also upload you own ebooks, with EPUB, PDF, AZW3, CBC, CBR, CBZ, CHM, FB2, LIT, MOBI, TCR, AI, and PUB formats all being supported.

02
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Best eBook Reader App for Amazon Prime Members: Kindle

Amazon Kindle app on an iPhone XS.

Amazon

What We Like

  • Massive library of ebooks to choose from.

  • Apps are updated on a very regular basis.

What We Don't Like

  • The Kindle app for Windows is more for traditional computers than touchscreens.

  • Can’t buy ebooks within the iOS Kindle app.

The official Kindle apps on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows are Amazon’s way of letting their customers consume their Kindle ebooks without having to buy a Kindle eReader device.

Any Kindle-branded ebook on the Amazon website can be read within the Kindle apps, and there are a variety features that set this app experience apart from its rivals, including the built-in dictionary, the ability to skip ahead without losing your place, and Amazon’s X-Ray tech, which reveals extra information on a book’s characters and world while you’re reading.

The Amazon Kindle apps aren’t perfect though. The Windows app is designed more for traditional desktop computers than modern devices with touchscreens, and the iOS version doesn’t support Kindle ebook buying due to Apple’s habit of taking a percent of every sale made through their apps. eBooks can still be purchased on the Amazon website and via the Kindle reader for Android, though, and will sync to the Kindle app on iOS almost immediately.

03
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Best eBook Reader for Comic Book Fans: Comixology

ComiXology comic book ebook app on iPhone XS.

Amazon

What We Like

  • Massive collection of comic books from all of the major publishers.

  • Automatically imports comic books purchased on Amazon.

What We Don't Like

  • The ComiXology Unlimited service is limited to the United States only.

  • Closing a comic book isn’t as smooth as it could be.

ComiXology is one of the oldest and most-popular services for consuming comic books digitally, and with good reason. The ComiXology online store, now owned by Amazon, features literally thousands of new and classic comic books from major publishers like Marvel, DC Comics, and Image Comics, in addition to a plethora of smaller brands.

The digital comic books can be downloaded to the iOS, Android, or Kinde Fire apps and read in the traditional fullscreen view or in a new animated panel-by-panel style called Cinematic Guided View. The latter method is ideal for smaller screens, as it zooms in on each panel individually, making the script easier to read.

04
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Most-Available Reading App: Rakuten Kobo

Rakuten Kobo app on iPhone XS.

Rakuten

What We Like

  • Loads of options to customize the reading experience.

  • There’s an official Kobo app for Blackberry phones.

What We Don't Like

  • The Windows app is incredibly outdated, and the Facebook login doesn’t work.

  • Audiobooks are only available on the iOS and Android apps.

Rakuten’s Kobo is a major competitor to Amazon with millions of ebooks and a growing number of audiobooks on its platform. The iOS and Android Kobo apps are clearly where the company puts most of its attention, with each app offering an impressive variety of font size, style, and color options to make the reading experience more personal and comfortable for individual users.

Impressively, there’s also an official Kobo app for those still rocking a Blackberry, in addition to one for Windows 10 in the Microsoft Store app store. Windows users will want to download the separate desktop version of the app, though, which is updated on a more regular basis and offers more features. The desktop app also works on Macs.

05
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Best Reading App for Kids: Epic!

Epic book reading app on iPhone XS.

Epic!

What We Like

  • Lots of in-app gamification that encourages kids to read more.

  • Great selection of classic and modern children’s books.

What We Don't Like

  • App requires a monthly subscription to use, though a 30-day free trial is available.

  • Changing settings is a bit of a convoluted process.

Epic! is kind of like a Netflix for kids, but instead of TV shows and movies, it supplies the user with a massive library of ebooks and audiobooks. Parents can make unique profiles for each of their children, who can then customize their profiles based on their personal tastes.

There’s a large amount of variety in the Epic! apps on iOS, Android, and Windows. While a lot of the classic children’s books are available to download, there’s also a lot of modern releases as well, such as one series of books covering famous pop culture icons. Children can also choose from a selection of family-friendly comic books, such as Snoopy and The Smurfs, and numerous short video clips created by DreamWorksTV.

06
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Best iPhone eBook Reader App: Yomu EBook Reader

Yomu EBook Reader app on iPhone.

Beat Raess

What We Like

  • Supports EPUB, MOBI, PRC, AZW, AZW3, KF8, CBZ, CBR, and PDF files.

  • eBooks can be saved to the Yomu app from any iOS web browser.

What We Don't Like

  • Settings menu is very hard to find after adding books.

  • Download links should be in the main menu, not in the tutorial.

The Yomu EBook Reader is a fantastic app for iPhone and iPad users who download their ebooks in a variety of file formats and want to bring them all together for a cohesive reading experience.

Yomu, which is Japanese for “to read,” supports all of the popular ebook file formats, in addition to those supported by Amazon Kindle and ComiXology. Files can be imported to the app via a cloud service like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, and, once the app is installed, Yomu will appear as a source when saving ebook files from any iOS web browser app.

07
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PDF eBook Reading App: Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit PDF Reader app on iPhone XS.

Foxit Software inc

What We Like

  • PDF files can be shared directly to the app on iOS.

  • Reflow options makes all files readable on small screens.

What We Don't Like

  • Ability to create a new PDF file requires a $14.99 monthly subscription on iOS and Android.

  • Lack of a back button on app screens makes navigation very confusing.

Foxit PDF Reader Mobile is one of the better PDF apps out there and is an ideal solution for those who prefer to consume ebooks in the PDF file format. Unlike many similar apps that simply display a PDF as is and require you to pinch and zoom to read its content, Foxit features a reflow setting that resizes and reorganizes the text on a page to fit perfectly on a mobile phone’s screen.

PDF files can be transferred to the Foxit app via Wi-Fi, iCloud, or Foxit’s own Foxit Drive service. Those using an iOS device will be able to import downloaded files directly from the share feature while using other apps as well. A monthly subscription is needed to take advantage of a lot of the advanced settings, but those looking for an app to simply read their PDF ebooks will be fine with the free functionality.

08
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Best eBook Reader For Android Phones And Tablets: AIReader

AIReader reading app on Android.

Alan Neverland

 

What We Like

  • Supports a lot of Android devices with the minimum OS requirement being Android 2.3.

  • Multiple profiles can be used for different app settings. 

What We Don't Like

  • No support for PDF files.

  • Scrolling can be very jittery on lower-end Android tablets.

AIReader is a very popular reading app on Android due to its support for older Android smartphones and tablets that are running operating systems as out-of-date as Android 2.3. It should be mentioned that a lot of the scrolling and related animations aren’t as smooth as they should be on older devices, but the ebook reading experience is still solid and most major file types will work no matter which Android device you’re on.

09
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Best Reading App on Nintendo Switch: Inky Pen

Inky Pen reading app on the Nintendo Switch.

Inky Pen

What We Like

  • Large selection of free comics from lots of popular franchises.

  • Comics look great on the Nintendo Switch.

What We Don't Like

  • $7.99 a month will be a bit expensive for some people.

  • No Marvel or DC Comics series.

Most would think the Nintendo Switch is just for playing games, but its library of non-game apps has been slowly growing since launch. One of these apps, Inky Pen, is a full-fledged comic book reading app, which lets anyone read full digital issues from popular comic book series right on their Switch.

Inky Pen does charge a monthly fee of $7.99 for unlimited access to its entire library, but there are an impressive amount of free issues available that will keep most comic fans entertained during long car trips or lazy weekends. What’s particularly cool is the app works when the Nintendo Switch is docked so comics can be read on a TV by a group.

10
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Best Reading App for Google Addicts: Google Play Books

What We Like

  • Very smooth reading experience with a page turn animation looks fantastic.

  • Runs really well on cheap, low-end Android tablets.

What We Don't Like

  • App needs to switch to the Google Play app every time you want to read more about a book.

  • Has a much smaller selection than Amazon.

Google Play Books, as its title suggests, is Google’s first-party app for reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks bought within the Google Play Store. The book selection isn’t as big as Amazon’s, but it’s still large enough to please the casual reader. Those who enjoy reading at least one book a day may find themselves wanting more, though.

The good thing is Google Play Books doesn’t need a subscription service to use. It can be used to enjoy a purchased ebook or audiobook one weekend, then ignored for a week or so without feeling any financial guilt for not taking advantage of some monthly fee.

It’s a very solid reading experience for when you want to use it, is incredibly stable and easy to use, and also has some of the best page turn animations out of all of the book reading apps out there.

Google Play Books is a very solid reading app, especially for those immersed in the Google ecosystem.