The Best eBook Readers 2019

Best Ebook ReadersBooks have never been more popular, with more people buying and reading books than ever before. It is clear that technology has driven this resurgence, thanks to devices that are able to put thousands of books in our hands. eBook reader software has become popular thanks to the fact that you can easily keep thousands of books in one place: on your computer.

To ensure the best experience, you will need an eBook reader for PC that is versatile, easy to use, and loaded with handy features. Versatility can be covered through the number of eBook file formats supported in the software, while features like annotations, highlighting, and cloud support are increasingly important to users.

With all that in mind, we have selected the very best eBook reader apps available for Windows right now. From slick applications offering a modern UI, to apps from massive corporations, we have all the bases covered with the following programs.

1. Icecream Ebook Reader – the best eBook reader for Windows

Icecream Ebook Reader

Icecream Ebook Reader is a great free eBook reader that is specifically designed to work on Windows. Whether on a desktop, laptop, or tablet, the application transforms the screen into a high-quality eBook reader that is loaded with features.

Icecream Ebook Reader supports all major eBook formats, such as EPUB, FB2, PDF, MOBI, CBZ, CBR, and TXT. Managing a digital library is really easy on any device, and the app is among the most modern-looking eBook readers available, offering a slick UI that is very easy to use. The ability to export books through the archive feature is handy, as are the one-click menu controls that make the app a joy to use.

Among the core features of Icecream Ebook Reader is the ability to add notes and highlight text in eBooks of ePub, MOBI, FB2, and TXT formats; search by text within a book; the options to copy and translate the text of the eBooks (the translation can be completed with Google Translate); the ability to add bookmarks; and the ability to change the color scheme of the program.

The only downside to the whole experience is its lack of cross-platform support as this is a Windows app exclusively.

OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Freemium
File Size: 28 MB
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Slick UI that’s easy to use
  • Excellent format support
  • Good core features
  • Limited to Windows devices

2. Kindle for PC – the best cross-platform eBook reader

Kindle for PC

Where would any eBook reader list be without Amazon’s Kindle platform? From e-reader hardware to a retail platform that hosts any book and comic you could want, Kindle provides a gateway into an ecosystem that’s really hard to beat. Like its dedicated e-reader, iOS, and Android apps, Kindle on Windows PC is beautifully designed and easy to use.

Setting up the eBook reader is easy, but you will need to have an Amazon account to use the Kindle app. Because it comes from a massive company, it is well supported. Kindle for PC is also incredibly versatile and supports all eBook formats. As it is truly cross platform, you can sync books across devices, allowing you to start reading on one and finish on another.

Kindle is an online eBook reader which essentially streams the book. If you want to read offline, you will need to manually download the eBook by clicking on its cover. Of course, Amazon is a retailer first and foremost, so the whole point of Kindle is to essentially sell you content. So expect some sales advertising about the latest books and other items. It is not too bad and Amazon does not need to do the big sell these days, but it is something worth remembering.

OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Freemium
File Size: 53 MB
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Huge built-in content catalog
  • Professional and usable app
  • Amazon consistently sells content
  • Amazon account needed

3. Calibre – the best open source eBook reader for PC available

Calibre free eBook reader

We always like to throw an open source alternative into our lists, and in terms of eBook readers Calibre eBook reader is the best open solution available. It is both very fast and also very lightweight, making it an excellent program for those on limited PC hardware.

If you buy a lot of your reading material from Amazon, Calibre eBook reader represents a good choice as it supports the retailer’s AWZ format (although not DRM-protected content). It features a tool to add your own cover art to an eBook file, while the “Reference Mode” is a very useful tool we enjoyed using. With this mode, you can see the current chapter and paragraph number detailed at the top of the page, making it an ideal resource for studying material.

Flow Mode is also a cool feature that allows text to scroll automatically without displaying page breaks. Interestingly, Calibre is promoted as an eBook manager first and a reader second. Either way, it does both things admirably; although, as is usually the case with open source software, the UI and app design of the free eBook reader are fairly basic and, dare we say it, old fashioned.

OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Mac OS 10.9 and higher, Linux OS
Licensing: Free
File Size: 66 MB
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Light and fast
  • Interesting features like Reference Mode
  • Support AWS format
  • Old-fashioned, clunky app design
  • Too many features; may be hard to find the one needed

4. Freda

Freda eBook reader for PC

One of the things we like most about Freda is its quick access to free eBooks. Make no mistake, the market for free books is vibrant and you can turn up some classics and modern gems through Project Gutenberg and Smashwords integration on Freda. From independent works to fully published hits, there truly is something for everyone.

Of course, Freda is also an eBook reader that will allow you to view your purchased eBook content too. Importing your own library is simple, and all popular file formats are supported by the app. This is a feature-rich experience that provides tools like annotations, highlighting, bookmarks, and cloud storage integration.

While it was never really a problem in our testing, it is worth pointing out that Freda is funded by advertising, so you will see some of your screen real estate taken up by ads. The app is fairly discreet about this and that’s the price of a free service, but some readers may prefer to do without the distraction.

OS: Windows 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Free
File Size: 38 MB
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Access to thousands of free eBooks
  • Easy library import tool
  • Strong feature set
  • Advertising may bother some

5. Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF ebook reader

Don’t be fooled by the name, because while Sumatra will read your PDF files, it is also a full on free eBook reader. It is versatile and well featured, supporting popular eBook formats such as MOBI and EPUB. We also enjoyed Sumatra as a comic book reader as it supports both CBZ and CBR formats.

One of the main reasons to favor Sumatra PDF is because it is a portable free eBook reader. This means you can save it to a USB or in the cloud and use it on any PC you choose. eBooks can be stored alongside the app and used at convenience, provided you have a PC with you. Despite being a lightweight portable app, Sumatra looks good and, more importantly, feels good.

Navigating the UI is easy thanks to some clever settings functions. However, there are some elements we found to be too confusing. For example, some settings (such as page color) need to be manually adjusted via a hex code, which you will need to find. A simple graphical representation setting would be much better in these circumstances.

OS: Windows XP,7 , 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Free
File Size: 4 MB
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Portable eBook reader
  • Simple interface
  • Versatile
  • Some settings are frustrating
  • Basic design

We tried to review the most popular program so you could easily pick the best eBook reader for you. Select the program that is the most convenient for you to use in order to create your own eBook library and enjoy reading on a regular basis. If you are a person who is too involved in the process, check out the list of the best productivity apps.

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