If you've been considering making the jump from physical books to e-books, you'll need to figure out the best e-book apps for Android. As amazing as traditional books are, they're often heavy, expensive, and can take up a significant amount of space in a cramped apartment, so making the transition to e-books is worth it. Good thing is that you've got a few options, depending on where you want to get your e-books and how you want them to look on your smartphone's screen.
With that said, take a peek at our picks for the best e-book apps for Android!
What are the best e-book apps for Android?
Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
While there are a number of apps on the Play Store that make it easier than ever to find and read new e-books, there's only one that stands largely above the rest. The Amazon Kindle app provides a vast library of e-books and audiobooks, with more choices than you could ever imagine.
That's great, but what if you have an e-book from an independent publisher, or from a friend that they just finished, and it's in a weird format? Well, Moon+ Reader is an e-book app for those who have e-books in various formats, including EPUB and RAR.
Maybe you're someone who wants to support their local library. In that case, take a look at Libby, by OverDrive. It brings the library to wherever you are, making it easy to check out e-books and read them at your pace from your smartphone or tablet.
1. Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack with its access to a huge library of content, including free e-books and content from indie publishers that you can read on your mobile device or desktop with the Kindle app. There is bound to be a book out there for you, no matter what genre you are looking for.
In the app, you can also customize fonts, margins, line spacing, and also organize the books you've downloaded into collections so that it's easier to find the one you want to read. Kindle will also remember the page that you left reading on when you switch devices. This means that you can switch between your phone, Fire Tablet, and PC without ever losing your page in the process. Or you can simply get something like the newest Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which is one of the best Amazon Kindle e-readers and go back and forth between it and your smartphone.
The Kindle app is so versatile that you can even have other reading pieces sent to the app, such as articles saved in Instapaper. You can also sign up for the Kindle Unlimited and get access to more than one million titles for $12 per month.
The obvious choice
Get access to more books than you can fathom
Amazon's Kindle app is the way to read and enjoy e-books from your mobile devices. There are more than one million titles at your fingertips, giving you plenty to read and a single place to keep tabs on them all.
2. Moon+ Reader
While the ability to purchase books from a major retailer and download them all to your phone is awesome, sometimes the books you want to read are ones that you already have in digital form. Whether you've picked up e-books from an independent publisher, or you've gotten the files from a now-defunct program, being able to open and read them properly is key, and that's where Moon+ Reader comes in.
It has support for more than 10 different file formats, from RAR all the way to EPUB. On top of that, you can customize the way words look on the screen, back up your library online, and get access to five auto-scroll options apart fom plenty of fantastic features. With the ability to view content in various formats, it's easy to understand why Moon+ Reader is one of the best Android apps, and not just among the best e-book apps for Android.
Lots of formats supported
Read anything you want with a single app
Many e-book publishers for Android limit you to only using their apps to read and enjoy content. Moon+ Reader throws that out of the window and makes it so you can enjoy just about any e-book, regardless of the format it was downloaded in.
3. Libby, by OverDrive
Long gone are the days when you needed to head out to your local library just to get some new books to read. Thanks to the digital world and apps like Libby, your library is now available with you wherever you go.
If you live near a participating library, Libby opens up your world to a variety of new books at your fingertips. There are standard books that can be "checked out" easily along with audiobooks, and both of these can be saved for offline use so you can read them even if you don't have any internet connection.
For those who enjoy reading on a Kindle, Libby makes it simple to check out a book, then easily send it over to a reading device. The app has all the expected options for customization, so you can read right from the app and even take notes. Did you just come across a word you've never seen before? Libby will be able to even define it for you from the app, making it so you don't have to open another app in the middle of an intense chapter.
Bring the library with you
Your local library at your fingertips
Libby, by OverDrive is an app that works with your local library to give you access to your favorite books. While it's surely fun to actually go to the library, sometimes it's just not feasible. Also, with Libby, you won't have to worry about those pesky late fees.
Some other great options
With the Google Play Store, there are a lot more e-book apps for Android than you may have even imagined. These are a few more of our favorites that offer some cool features, even if they didn't make the top three.
Google Play Books
Google Play Books gives you access to a wide range of books, some of which are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in a book saved across multiple devices through your Google account.
If you have a family account set up, then you can share books between everybody without having to purchase them multiple times. Staying within the Google ecosystem also makes it easy to share your purchases with family members and keep all of your media in one place.
Probably already installed
Part of the Google ecosystem
Google's Play Books app is one of those apps that doesn't get as much attention as other e-book apps for Android. Still, Google has done a wonderful job at combining a catalog of endless selections with a solid reading experience, right on your phone or tablet.
Kobo has been around for quite some time, and is now a part of Rakuten, but that hasn't stopped it from being great. This app is a great way of reading your favorite e-books whether they're on your phone or tablet. It has a gigantic selection filled with both new and established authors, including magazines and children's books. The most popular and trending e-books are even updated hourly so you won't miss an amazing story, even when it's coming from an author you've never heard of.
As you begin to buy books and Kobo learns your preferences, it will build up a list of recommendations having suggestions for new books or magazines. There is also an awesome reading activity feature that'll show you how much time you've spent while reading in the app, what books you are currently reading, a running tally of how many books you've read, and even how many pages you've turned in the process.
Earn points for reading
The more you read, the more you earn
In addition to having access to e-books and audiobooks, Kobo also has a rewards system that rewards you for reading more and more books.
PocketBook is another one of those apps that make it easy to read books, regardless of what format they're in. The app supports more than 25 different formats, making it possible for you to read magazines and comic books, or even listen to your favorite audiobooks.
The biggest benefit to PocketBook over similar apps has everything to do with cloud syncing. PocketBook Cloud will synchronize your progress for anything uploaded to the app, so you can start reading something on your phone, only to pick it up right where you left off in a browser. You can even sync files from services like Dropbox and Google Drive, if you don't want to manually upload the books to your phone.
Pick up where you left off
PocketBook is a useful app for those who enjoy reading from multiple devices and want cross-device sync support. The app works with 26 different e-book and audio formats, and you can upload your own files from cloud storage services too.
Whether you just enjoy reading books that you won't find at the library, or you're a writer who wants to share a story, Wattpad is perfect. For writers, Wattpad works with publishing partners to get their book seen and published by some of the biggest names. The app has seen stories come and go that have even been adapted into a TV series.
The Wattpad community is home to more than 80 million readers around the globe, with more than 20 different e-book categories to choose from. It has something for everyone and the app syncs across all of your devices, so you can pick up your new book from wherever you are.
For readers and writers
The one-stop-shop for Indie content
Wattpad has come a long way from its days of just being yet another e-book app for Android. E-books published to Wattpad have been adapted for TV or the big screen, and there are more original stories added that you won't find anywhere else.
NOOK: Read eBooks & Magazines
While Amazon has always been an online-only store, Barnes & Noble has been one of the largest bookstores still hanging around. To try and keep up with the times, the company did unveil a series of e-readers, but has now largely pivoted to the Nook app. Like the Kindle app, you can browse a vast library of titles, genres, and much more right from your smartphone.
After finding a new book to settle down with, you can customize different aspects of the reading experience. This includes adjusting the font style, changing the margins, and even switching up the page animations. As you might expect, you can also make notes and add bookmarks that can then be shared with your friends if you come across an inspiring quote or just something funny. The Nook app is free to use, and includes more than 75,000 free e-books, or you can start building your digital library by purchasing eBooks.
An alternative to Kindle
Another virtual bookstore
Nook comes from a time when the traditional bookstore was still popular, but Barnes & Noble has evolved and recognized our smartphones make for the perfect portable library. Nook includes thousands of free e-books but can also be used to check out magazines or to purchase new e-books.
Goodreads isn't an app to read your favorite e-books. Instead, it's social community for everyone who enjoys reading and sharing book recommendations and ratings. Sometimes it's not always feasible for you to be able to catch up with your friends and family about what new books they are enjoying. That's where Goodreads comes into the foray, as this app makes it easy to see what your friends are reading and what they think of those books.
You can create lists however you like, including books that you want to pick up later. You can also find recommendations based on your reading lists and read reviews. It is a must-have for every dedicated reader.
Join the community
A community for e-book readers everywhere
If you're someone who reads a lot of books, you may run out of ideas on where to find the next one. Goodreads changes that as this is a community-driven app where you can find and share opinions and ratings for books with both family and friends.
Scribd: Audiobooks & ebooks
There are many subscription services out there today, but not all of them are as worthy of your time and money as Scribd. This app gives you access to thousands of books for just $12 per month, but it goes beyond just books. You can read your favorite magazines, listen to audiobooks, and even go so far as to check out some sheet music if you want to teach yourself a new song to play.
All of the content in the app is free to download and enjoy, and Scribd offers a 30-day free trial so you can determine whether the app is right for you. Going through the setup process for the first time, Scribd will ask you what your favorite types of content are, so it can then provide accurate recommendations for each category within the app. Seriously, if you want to get back into reading, or just want an all-in-one content consumption service, Scribd is the way to go.
A subscription that's worth it
One subscription for all of your reading needs
If you're tired of the other subscription services for e-books and want to try something different, Scribd is for you. Not only will you get access to a vast library of e-books, but the app will also provide access to audiobooks, magazines, and much more.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the Android Central team.
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.