There’s certainly something to be said about having a physical book, but the smarter way to read these days has to be in digital form. With your Android smartphone or tablet, you can literally store hundreds, if not thousands of books, all accessible to you at any given time. To make matters even better, there are some great free ebook reader apps for Android, giving you greater choice and flexibility.
Some people may prefer having a standalone ebook reader, perhaps one with an e-ink display, but sometimes it’s just easier to use a device that you already have with you all the time anyway. That’s the same reason why having good iPhone ebook reader apps is a good idea, too, except this list is obviously geared toward the Google Android people in the audience.
When it comes to file type compatibility, Cool Reader is easily one of the best Android ebook reader apps. It supports everything from fb2 and txt to chm, pdb, prc, and mobi. You can choose between having a more traditional page-flipping view of your book or a more seamless “scroll” view that is more like what you’d get from reading a webpage. You can even export your bookmarks to a text file.
Aldiko Book Reader
This ebook app already comes pre-installed on a number of Android devices, but you can just as easily get it from Google Play if you don’t already have it. Aldiko supports the standard EPUB and PDF formats, but you can also read Adobe DRM protected ebooks, too, as well as ebooks you get from the public library. If you upgrade to the premium version, you gain highlights, notes, and home widget features, as well as an ad-free reading experience.
Kindle for Android
Okay, this is clearly one of the bigger elephants in the room, but Amazon has to be addressed. The Kindle app for Android is exactly what you’d expect it to be, geared heavily toward the Kindle store for buying all your Kindle ebooks. You get “over a million books at your fingertips,” plus a range of magazines and newspapers. Google, Wikipedia, and a dictionary are all built into the app, too, in case you need further reference.
Kobo Ebook Reader App
While not as Amazon, the Kobo ebook reader app shouldn’t be ignored either, particularly for people who are outside of the United States and may not have the same kind of access to Kindle. There are tons for free and affordable ebooks offered through Kobo, there’s a social aspect with Reading Life, and you can preview the content before making a purchase.
This ebook reader app comes from a Chinese developer, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it supports UMD, one of the more popular Chinese ebook formats out there. It also supports more standard formats like txt, chm, pdb, and HTML. It may not be the fanciest out there, but it’s another free option for you to consider.
Google Play Books
The Google Play store isn’t just about downloading apps for your Android devices. Google also has online storefronts for a variety of digital content, like books and magazines. This app works not unlike what you’d expect from Kobo or Kindle, except it’s all tied into the Google universe. There are millions of titles here, too, both free and paid. This is a closed app, though, so you can’t import your own books for reading.
Wattpad Free Books and Stories
Part of the reason why you may be interested in a free ebook reader app for your Android device in the first place is that you want to read some free ebooks. While most other marketplaces offer a hybrid of free and paid content, Wattpad is dedicated solely to stories that keep your cash in your pocket. Its libary contains over 10 million free books and stories, spanning from sci-fi and fantasy to romance and thrillers. You can even contribute your own stories and contribute them to the Wattpad ebook reading community.
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