Best Free eBook Reader for Android



Printed books are far from dead and with the introduction of portable ebook readers and apps, reading has become more popular than ever. The ability to take a multitude of ebooks in one device, rather than require a lorry to follow you everywhere with the printed equivalent, is truly amazing. So, let's begin our journey by looking at some of the best freeware ebook apps available for Android.


Rated Products

Google Play Books  

Google's answer to an ebook reader

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Clean, crisp, ebook reader that doesn't have many frills but does what it needs to do really well. Great app to have and use.
Doesn't say what formats it reads and the Read Aloud function is poor.
Read full review...


Reading an ebook is a real joy through this app

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Open source)
Highly customisable ebook reader with non-nonsense menus that delivers an excellent way to read an ebook.
Would be great to read more formats.
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Cool Reader  

It is very simplistic and makes reading a book more interesting

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Open source)
Opens a multitude of formats and has a huge amount of options and settings that goes beyond what you could hope for.
Doesn't read pdf and the automated reading is awful.
Read full review...

Bookari Free  

A nice app to read and create your own collections of ebooks

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Limited features)
A good clean feel about it and reading ebooks is a pleasure; a wide range of settings to allow customisation.
Only reads PDF's and EPUB's.
Read full review...

Bluefire Reader  

A clean and straightforward ebook reader designed with the reader in mind

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Good ebook reader to have on your Android device. No adverts either.
Limited readable ebook formats.
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Moon+ Reader  

An excellent ebook reader with a neat and clean user interface

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Limited features)
Neat and clean user interface, highly customizable, visual and control options, bookmark, highlight, annotation, dictionary, share, backup and share, sync reading positions across devices, online ebook libraries.
Ads supported in the free version, doesn't read pdf files.
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Kobo eBooks  

Handle ebooks really well with a respectable amount of options and settings

Our Rating: 
License: Free
A good ebook app with a lot of functionality. Can also read a multitude of formats including comics.
You need to sign-up to Kobo to use the app.
Read full review...

Aldiko Book Reader  

A good app to explore, read and organize ebooks

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Limited features)
Straightforward ebook reader with an easy to navigate structure.
A bit slow turning pages. Limited number of ebook formats it can read.
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It runs, looks and feels like a Kindle device

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Over 950,000 ebooks available to buy and thousands free; runs like a Kindle device.
You have to register with Amazon to use the app.
Read full review...

Other Ebook Readers

  • EBookDroid can not only add bookmarks like most other readers in the market, it can also give the outline of an ebook that doesn't have a table of contents. It has the standard "go to" feature too, which comes in really handy if you want to jump to a page number. Don't use this utility for reading scanned books though; it takes a really long time to load. It also has a night reading mode which is excellent.
  • PDF Reader & Viewer is supported by ads. If you have a small tablet, the ads take up a lot of screen area. The app takes a while to load as well. It comes with all the other good features but you have to go for its paid cousin.
  • Oodles 50000 Free eBooks & AudioBooks offers oodles of new functionality to entice the average bespectacled android bookworm. For starters, it lists out all the fifty thousand books it offers in a handy little catalogue with books neatly put in various categories such as literature, fantasy, or women’s fiction. The book reading capability isn’t too bad either.

More apps to be reviewed:


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Average: 3.8 (53 votes)


I have a different criteria. I need to read technical publications. I belong to the IEEE Computer Society which has discontinued publishing hardcopy magazines. I was forced to convert to reading electronically.
I own a Motorola DROID4 on which I am using two of the recommended apps for reading books. For my purposes, a book is single column and has few illustrations. All files are downloaded to the DROID. I need PDF text to reflow, but I don't insist that the formatting be perfect. Some of the books are in TXT files. I tried DOC and DOCX and found no advantages. I Use Cool Reader and [commercial app edited out]. Sometimes one is more pleasing to view than the other.
For purposes of this discussion, technical magazines have lots of color illustrations, including ads. Attempting to read these on the DROID was impossible. Text was too small, illustrations were generally too big; reducing their size made them unreadable. I was forced to buy a tablet. I got a Samsung Galaxy TAB S. Then I had to select how to read the magazines.
The Computer Society provided an app for reading Computer Magazine. While useless on the small screen DROID, it is very good on the tablet. It renders full page view, probably of a PDF. The type is small, but readable. It has buttons for Contents, Search, and Library. The view it presents for the library makes me suspect that it is a customized version of EbookDroid, but that bookcase view is very common.
I tried reading using ePub versions that are available on the Computer Society web page to members. I don't like the aesthetics. They are presenting plain text that is not attractive to me for browsing.
I subscribe to ahobby magazine that is published in PDF, so I also tested reading it. I liked reading the PDF in Moon+. It was very readable. Jumping from the TOC to an article didn't work in Cool Reader. So, at the moment, Moon+ is my reader of choice for PDF.
I tried the readers that came preloaded on the Samsung tablet. Drive PDF Viewer only scrolled continuously; I couldn't fins a page view. Jumping from the TOC to an article didn't work. Hancom PDF reader added thumb views of pages at the bottom by squeezing the page. I didn't find these thumbs to be useful. Jumping from the TOC to an article worked some of time.

I recognize that my sampling was incomplete and not very well controlled. I'd love to see Gizmo extend their review to address technical text.

Overall, an excellent summary and comparison, but you missed an important "feature" of Google Books: it won't read books you've stored on the device. If, like me, you have a lot of free classics from sources like Project Gutenberg, you can't just copy them to your tablet with a tool like Calibre and read them the way you can with other systems. They have to be uploaded to Google Play first. Then they have to be re-downloaded from there. If you're offline because you're unexpectedly stuck in the waiting room at your doctor's office or car repair shop, too bad. If you'd rather Google didn't know that you secretly enjoy reading supermarket tabloids, or cheesy 1950s bodice-rippers, too bad.

The instructions on the device for uploading are awful. Be sure you have easy access to searching online before trying it.

It could be worse: I took a plane trip recently, and downloaded (I _thought_) a couple of magazines to read on my iPad on the plane. Imagine my surprise when I tried to open them onboard and discovered all I'd actually downloaded were cover pictures and some sort of link I could use to read them if I still had the WiFi in the boarding lounge. At least the google app appears to grab the whole book: I experimented by turning off WiFi after I started reading, and it was still there. But trying to access the other two in the "starter" library told me I had to go back online to get them.

I bought a cheap tablet on Black Friday that came with KitKat and version 3.1.33 of the reader. The "read aloud" is "okay", probably due to the reported recent improvements in Google's TTS. If it weren't for the cheap speaker (which sounds like it was recycled from cosmetic reject dollar-store headphones), it might even be "good".

Thanks again for taking the time to write this: now I know what to try next ;-)

Actually, the latest version of Moon+ Reader, support pdf format.

Thanks for the great review!
I am actually looking for one feature only: which of the e-reader software can mark a book as read in the list of all books? I am not talking about "Recently read" tab. I am talking about something like Sony Reader does - puts an asterisk next to the book that was already read.
I would love to use Sony Reader software but on my older tablet it runs very slow for some reason.
At this moment for me it is the most important feature in e-reader software. All of them have pretty much the same functionality... But the one I am looking for is missing.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I am looking for an e-book reader that can do the ff:

1. store books in any directory I choose, especially one in an external card;

2. import books from any directory that I choose, and then store them in the designated directory, or scan for and include newly added books;

3. catalog books of different formats (including PDF), i.e., at least the author's name and title.

I use this because you can read books, borrowed from an actual library (DRM). In fact, it's that good that you can access the library, choose books & download to device, all directly from Aldiko :-)

I use Aldiko and Lektz reader to access my eBooks. Lektz does provide support for both ePub and PDF books.

Thank you for the information. Lektz will be reviewed soon and we'll put it on this website soon enough.

Great article! I would like to recommend a program called calibre (for your computer), it will allow you to keep track of all your eBook's, with the added benefit of converting them from/to pretty much any eBook format (pdf conversion as well), plus it will synch to *most* Android devices. I have been using this in conjunction with aldiko for years now, and though I keep trying other reader apps, I keep going back to aldiko, then again with calibre, eBook formats don't matter as I auto convert them to epub anyway (calibre is also one of the few - possibly only program that can convert .lit files)

great reviews lot's of info, thank-you

I like FBReader...


I was wondering if anyone knew of an android reader that supported both mobi and pdf files, as well as the other common formats? It seems to be that a reader is either an epub/pdf reader, or a mobi/other format reader, but not both.

Any thoughts?
Josh (Donationcoder)

kobo can read both pdf and mobi formats.