Books can be heavy, expensive, and take up valuable space in a cramped apartment. If you've been considering the jump from physical books to ebooks, you'll need to figure out the best e-reader for the job. Thankfully you've got a few options, depending on where you want to get your books, and how you want them to look on the screen.
Take a peek at our picks for the best ebook reading apps on Android!
Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of ebook readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.
Kindle Direct Publishing even publishes content of varying lengths from self-published authors, or are otherwise unable to find a brick and mortar publisher. You can find titles ranging from Stephen King or Joe Hill to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Bell Hooks. Kindle Unlimited offers an endless selection of ebooks for a monthly fee.
In the app, you're able to customize fonts, margins, line spacing, and organize the books you've downloaded into collections so that it's easier to find the book you want to read. Kindle will also remember the page that you left 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.
Google Play Books
Google Play Books gives you access to a vast bookstore, some of which are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve in the future. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in the 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. As you purchase more books, Google will also show you books that are similar to ones you have already purchased, in order to find new authors you may not have heard of before.
Google Play Books has a great selection for the bibliophile in your family, and will likely be loaded onto your Android phone when you purchase it. 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.
Kobo is a great way to read your favorite books whether it's on your phone or tablet. They have a gigantic selection filled with both new and established authors, including magazines and children's books. The most popular and trending ebooks are even updated hourly so that you don't miss an amazing story, even when it's coming from an author you've never heard of.
Kobo also includes a reading list, which lets you add items you are currently reading, as well as the books you intend to tackle. This makes it easy to keep track of your reading list, even when you're on the go.
As you begin to buy books and Kobo learns your likes, it will also build a recommendations list. This is made up of suggestions for new books or magazines, based on what you've already purchased. There is also a really awesome reading activity feature. It will show you how much time you've spent reading in the app, what books you are currently reading, a running tally of how many books you've read and how many pages you've turned in the process.
Kobo delivers an awesome reading experience with plenty of books to read through, as well as features that make finding a good book easier than ever. You can customize your reading experience, and since Kobo will learn your preferences over time, you'll find new authors with just a tap. As a final perk when you sign up you'll get a $5 credit to be used towards your first book purchase.
If you want to continue shopping at Barnes and Noble, the Nook app is what you're looking for. It's the company's branded app, which gives you access to a huge library of books, magazines, and periodicals.
Since this is the official app from Barnes and Noble, if you buy into their yearly membership you can apply those discounts through the app. You also get access to tons of features to customize your reading experience, like spacing, sizing, and font selection. You can also share your library with family members, organize the way you like, and bookmark upcoming books that are available for pre-order.
While being able to purchase books from a major retailer and download them to your phone is awesome, sometimes the books you want to read are ones that you already have the files for. Whether you've picked up ebooks from an independent publisher, or you've gotten the files from a now-defunct program, being able to open and read them is key. That's where Moon+Reader comes in.
It has support for 12 different file formats, from .rar files all the way to .epub files. On top of that, you still are able to customize the way words look on the screen, lets you back up your library online, and gives you access to 5 auto-scroll options on top of plenty more fantastic features.
Are you reading?
While you might miss the feel of a book in your hands, or the smell of aged paper, there's a reason ebooks are so popular: they can save you space and money. If you've made the choice to move solely to ebooks, you have a variety of different e-readers to choose from. Do you use an e-reading app? Let us know about it in the comments below!
December 2017: We've added Nook and Moon+Reader to our list, and updated the info on all the best ebook apps!
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