Ebooks are the electronic version of paper books meant to be read on a supported device. There are millions or may be billions of ebooks out there covering almost every conceivable subject. Thanks to the easy availability of electronic handheld devices (smartphones, tablets and even dedicated ebook readers), ebooks have become very popular these days. In fact ebooks are now affecting the book-printing business and have largely replaced the traditional books at least on the go. The main reasons behind the popularity of ebooks are – very small size (few MBs) which means you can carry hundreds or even thousands of them with you besides one can access content of his/her whole ebook-library anywhere on the go.
The only problem with current ebook-scene is the number of many different formats of ebooks (depending upon the developer company or type of device) which makes it practically impossible to develop a universal ebook reader. Thus there are quite a few of them available out there for all mobile and desktop platforms. Three year ago I wrote a post on Symbian ebook reader apps which is still one of the top-ten posts of this blog in terms of visitors-share. This signifies the popularity of good ebooks and ebook readers. Android being the most popular mobile OS, has the largest number of ebook reader apps in the PlayStore. Most of these apps can open DRM-free epub ebooks so you can enjoy your epub library with almost any of these. Besides, some apps are meant to open a particular/proprietary ebook format (like Kindle) and few support DRM-protected Adobe PDF ebooks also. Epub is the most popular ebook format worldwide and millions of free epub ebooks are available for free download at various sites. Other popular ebook formats include mobi, prc, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html and OPDS. Here I am listing the best-in-class ebook reader apps currently available for Android –
FB Reader – FB Reader is arguably one of the top 3 ebook readers for Android. Despite being open source (free), it boasts of a feature-set which matches (or even exceeds) any of the best paid apps of this category.
AI Reader (Any text book reader) – Relatively new app but very good indeed (currently highest rated). Somewhat similar to FB Reader in features.
Moon+ – is arguably one of the most popular and feature-rich ebook readers for Android. It supports many online ebook libraries and almost all popular formats (epub including epub3 –audio, video content, mobi, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html, rar, zip and OPDS). Other features include – dictionary and 40+ language support, 20+ customized operations (various gestures). There is also an ad-free, Pro version of Moon+ reader with many more functions.
Kobo – Kobo is a very capable and feature rich ebook reader out there. Kobo app is also available for iOS, Blackberry 10 and desktop (Windows and Mac). With Kobo you can browse from over 3.5 million free and affordable eBooks, magazines, comics and children’s books.
Cool Reader – One of the best open-source, ebook reader out there. Supports all formats and is quite similar to FB Reader and Aldiko
Aldiko – is another good ereader supporting epub and pdf ebooks including adobe DRM encrypted ones.
Universal Book (UB) Reader – it’s a great epub/pdf ebook reader from Mobile Systems. Ub reader supports Adobe DRM protected ebooks and in-app purchase. Besides it integrates well with Office Suite app (popular document viewer/editor from the same developer).
Kindle – With Kindle app for Android you can download and read millions of Amazon Books (ebooks, magazines and news papers)
Nook – another good ebook reader from Barnes & Noble. Besides accessing the huge B&N online ebook store (over 3 millions ebooks, magazines, newspaper and comics) you can also import external epub and cbz files in Nook.
Montano Ebook Reader – A good ebook reader app available in two versions – free, ad-supported and premium. Montano also supports Adobe DRM protected ebooks.
Google Play Books – it’s a Google app for ebook reading but needs much polishing right now.
Other notable ebook readers, worth a try are –
Fabrik (free and Pro) – cloud reader
50000 Free Ebooks – it gives access to a huge collection of free ebooks which can be downloaded for offline reading
Zinio 5000+ Digital Magazines – a reading app providing access to magazines only
You can get more details of these by clicking the links and going to the respective Google Play Store pages. Regarding the question of best and goods – it all depends upon the individual requirements and preferences. As a general rule any of the first 7 (from the above list) is sufficient for most of us and for an average reader even single FB Reader is more than enough. However to access proprietary book stores specific apps are required (like Kindle for Amazon). So you can try all of the above one by one and see which one (or more than one) suits you best. Good luck….any suggestions are welcome!
You may also refer to this post describing best document viewer apps for Android