Top 6 iPhone eBook Apps

What are the best apps for reading on the iPhone?

Despite its screen size, the iPhone is a tremendous mobile library. After all, you can only carry a couple of printed books comfortably, while your iPhone can pack hundreds or thousands into something that weighs just a few ounces. Even better, ebook apps for the iPhone can add images, interactive features, electronics notes, and more. The best iPhone ebook apps have a good selection of modern and classic ebooks, lots of customizable features, and a well-designed interface. So which e-reader apps meet these criteria? 

While this article was originally written by Tanya Menoni, it has since been updated and substantially revised by Sam Costello. 


iBooks app
image copyright Apple

Apple's entry into the ebook space is very polished. With its excellent typography—especially when combined with the hi-res  Retina Display screen, its ability to annotate text, and its flashy page-turning animations, iBooks (Apple, free) a compelling option. While the iBooks Store that provides content for it doesn't have the quite same selection as Amazon's Kindle (but it's close), iBooks offers plenty of great reading via a sophisticated app. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. More »

Amazon Kindle for iPhone

Kindle app
image copyright AMZN Mobile LLC

If you’re a fan of the latest bestsellers, the Amazon Kindle app (, Free) has the most competitive ebook prices and widest selection. Most new releases are $9.99, but the purchasing process isn’t the best since you have to switch between the app and the iPhone’s mobile browser to download new ebooks (Amazon does this to get around Apple taking a 30% cut of all purchases made within apps). You can choose various font sizes but can’t switch to a different font. Amazon's selection of free and small-press/self-published content is unmatched. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5. More »


Nook app
image copyright Barnes and Noble Nook

The Nook app for iPhone is a major improvement over Barnes & Noble's earlier effort, called Reader. Nook delivers all the basic reading and customization features you'd expect from a good ebook reading and app and integrates nicely with Barnes & Noble's webstore. It would be ideal if you could buy books from that store right from the app, but for now, Apple's in-app purchasing rules may prevent that. Nook now also offers a large library of free content. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.  More »


Classics app
image copyright Classics app

The Classics app (Andrew Kaz & Phil Ryu, $4.99) has a gorgeous interface and well-designed ebooks complete with pictures and stimulated page turns (plus sound effects!). Classics is as close to reading an actual book as you can get on your iPhone. Unlike the other ebook apps, you’ll have to pay for this one and it only comes with 23 classic ebooks. The developer has promised more books in the future, but since the app hasn't been updated since 2009, I think it's safe to conclude that the app has been abandoned by its developer and no more books are coming. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5.  More »


Scribd app
image copyright Scribd

If you're a voracious reader, Scribd is going to thrill you. Think of it as the Netflix of books. For one monthly price ($8.99; there's also an $84.99 a year membership, which delivers a little savings), you can read unlimited books and comics in the app. And it's not just obscure titles by authors you've never heard of. You'll find big names like Stephen King and George R. R. Martin alongside up and coming new voices and midlist authors. The app also delivers audiobooks and an Apple Watch app. Not Reviewed More »

Serial Reader

Serial Reader app
image copyright Michael Schmitt

In 1700s and 1800s, it was common that novels were serialized in magazines and newspapers before they were collected in books. Serial Reader delivers that same experience—reading a section and then having to wait for the next one to arrive—to modern readers. It takes classic literature—the kind that would have been serialized originally—and sends it to you in small, daily chunks. You'll find classic works like those of Jane Austen, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, and more. The $2.99 Serial Premium lets you read ahead, pause serial delivery, and sync your reading across devices. Not Reviewed More »

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