Best Ebook Readers for Android Tablets

Turn your tablet into a top notch eBook reader

Books on bookshelves

Johner Images / Getty Images

E-books are more convenient than paper books and several e-books can be read from a single e-reader. You can also use your e-reader to read magazines and newspapers. Subscribe to a publication and new issues are pushed to your device. All e-readers sync with multiple devices and pick up on the page where you left off. Here's how the major readers rank.

If you have a digital library and want to change e-reader apps, it's possible to transfer most books into another reader with the exception of the Amazon Kindle. It can be difficult to transfer e-books to the Kindle.

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Kindle App

Kindle app for Android
What We Like
  • Tied to your Amazon account.

  • Buy books while browsing Amazon.

  • Includes sites with discount Kindle e-books.

What We Don't Like
  • Kindle doesn't support ePUB.

  • Kindle books contain restrictive DRM.

The Kindle is the best selling e-reader, and the Kindle app for Android tablets makes it possible for you to read all your Kindle books. The app has a few things it could improve for usability, such as adding a two-page layout when you turn the tablet horizontally, but it's still a stable and very usable app.

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Google Play Books

Google Play Books for Android
What We Like
  • Tight integration with Android.

  • Buy books from the Play Store.

  • Large selection.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as many books as Amazon.

  • Lacks the self publishing community of Kindle.

Google Play Books was built into Android tablets, and it's the Android answer to iBooks. Purchase books through your Google Play account and download purchased books for offline reading. There's also a handy widget you can use to flip through the books in your library. Ratings in Google Books are tied to Goodreads.

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Kobo for Android
What We Like
  • The Kobo app has the easiest method for importing ePUB books.

  • Reading Life shows statistics on the books you read.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as popular as Kindle or Google.

  • Doesn't offer a two-page layout.

Kobo is tied to the Kobo online bookstore, and many refer to Kobo as "the Canadian Kindle." Kobo was originally tied to Borders, but it is now owned by Rakuten. The portable e-reader may not have had the most stellar reviews, but the Android app is nice.

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Nook app for Android
What We Like
  • Two-page layout is a huge plus. 

  • Turn page-flipping animations off. 

  • The LendMe lending feature.

What We Don't Like
  • The LendMe feature is only available once per book.

  • The future of the Nook is uncertain.

The Barnes & Noble Nook tablet uses Android, and its Android app provides a solid experience. The Nook has partnered with Samsung for a Nook/GalaxyTab combination beyond a simple e-book reader. The Nook shows a two-page layout when you turn the screen sideways, and it allows you to sideload ePUB books you check out from your public library or buy from other vendors. It's slightly more difficult, because you have to copy the files to your My Documents folder yourself, but it's still fairly painless.