The smell of paper books may be an unforgettable feeling but online reading surely wins in comfort. For one thing, ebooks are much cheaper than print versions, not to mention that classical literature can often be legally downloaded for free.
Reading a book on a PC provides a possibility of making documents with quotes, sharing text fragments on social media, changing color’s size and using a night mode. Considering how much time we spend in front of a screen, investing it in reading is a great idea for productive self-development.
Choosing the best ebook reading software
The main factor is, of course, being able to access the application from your PC, no special reading hardware required. Also, you want to have a clear interface that goes easy on your eyes (usually with a white or light pastel background), enabled notetaking and underlining features, smart bookmark management and flexible text search.
On top of that, the tool has to provide a night mode for comfortable reading in the dark and allow to adjust the font size, sometimes even color.
5 Best Book Readers in 2019
We were looking for simple, clean, multifunctional and free reading tools. Additional factors were the availability of a library, possible add-on installation and additional features for users with eyesight problems.
Available for those who use Amazon – and for those who don’t
The design is smart and clean. The software doesn’t distract you pop-up notifications or useless interface gimmicks.
The essential features of Kindle are book scrolling, text search, bookmarking, and text customization. Additionally, the program has light and dark themes – pick whatever fits best to the mood of your book. Also, those who want to preserve their eyesight, have the entire settings menu panel where they can customize their reading experience.
The tool can be connected to a Kindle device or smartphone.
Disadvantages: occasional ads from Amazon store, the built-in library can be accessed only online.
A popular Windows multifunctional reader for PDF format
A popular Windows multifunctional reader for PDF format
The software is very simple and doesn’t require any additional customization. After you’ve installed the app, all PDF files will be accessed with Adobe Reader by default. Also, you can use the ‘Open’ feature in the main panel to open files from your storage.
Main advantages include:
- document protection (users can pick passwords and restrict privacy settings, prohibiting printing);
- collaboration mode (PDF markup tools for creating collective notes and underlining the most interesting text fragments);
- links and media attachment support.
- A lightweight Adobe Reader Download page and quick installation.
However, the tool does not have a rich built-in library and the customization features are slightly less elaborate than in alternative solutions.
Integration with free libraries and scientific portals
This one is perfect for students who have to research dozens of books at the same time and don’t necessarily have money to afford paid literature. This reader proves that royalty-free books can be just as informative.
The software can be connected to your Dropbox cloud storage and synchronized with mobile devices. Additional features include a text-to-speech feature – a handy add-on for turning books into podcasts. Of course, the voice sounds robotic but the overall experience is quite enjoyable.
Autoscroll and speed-read features will be especially appreciated by fast readers. This will keep you at the fast reading pace and your fingers won’t get tired from constant scrolling.
The main disadvantage is advertising – it’s pretty rare but nevertheless, can be very distracting. Even though this program is slightly less popular than the tools, reviewed above, it’s definitely worth your attention.
Lightweight portable ebook reader
Even though the software’s title emphasizes on PDF formats, the tool also supports EPUB, MOBI, CBR, and CBZ file extensions. The app is available in a portable version – you can access it without installation and on any device with a USB driver.
Books can be saved to the Cloud storage – you can access your reading materials anytime and from any device. Basic settings allow to edit font size and text background, however, in order to perform deeper customization, you need to open a file and start editing the text right there. This can get a bit messy and you have to really get used to the system.
The main disadvantages are:
- the absence of tested graphics interface;
- no add-ons for making noted and text highlighting;
- collaboration options are unavailable.
An elegant reader with a unique Reference mode
It’s an open source ebook tool with rich functionality and frequent updates. Along with traditional book formats just as PDF and DJV, The tool supports AWZ format. In Calibre, users can add and edit customized metadata – book covers, descriptions, authors’ names, and additional tags.
College students, busy with essay writing, will definitely enjoy a Reference Feature. The software remembers all highlighted frameworks, the number of a paragraph and line, and presents the quote in a proper citation format.
The software, however, does not possess rich synchronization features and does not permit collaboration.
We have reviewed our best picks for the title of the most comfortable reader. As you can see, there is no clear winner – each tool has custom features and significant drawbacks. At this point, you need to understand your personal needs and reading preferences – this way, you can see what functionality is more or less useful.
We also encourage you to take a closer look at user reviews for additional insights – especially since the aim of this top was primarily to provide a brief overview.