What’s more relaxing than staying in on a Friday evening and reading a good book? (This is a real treat for most introverts.) It’s even better when you can access some of the best free reading apps on the Web.
Sure, you can stop by your local library or buy physical books, but there are a few issues with these options:
- Rain, snow, and other kinds of inclement weather make it a trial to get to the library, especially on foot.
- Physical books take up space, which is really tough to deal with if you live in a studio apartment.
- Many physical books, particularly new hardbacks, typically cost $20+, while e-books can cost only a few dollars. (Some are completely free!)
Why go through these hassles when downloading an e-book from the comfort of home — or your favorite coffee shop — is much easier?
During the COVID lockdowns, physical book sales in the United States went down by 38 percent. As you see, e-books aren’t just for convenience; they come in handy during a global crisis, too.
To help you get started, consider checking out these 15 reading apps that let you access and read thousands of free ebooks in any genera you can imagine, from short stories and romance novels to nonfiction, history and everything in between.
What will I learn?
Best Apps for Reading Books Free
I place the following reading apps according to features, appearance, and uniqueness. (Some apps come with premium versions, which cost extra.)
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EBookDroid allows you to view documents in PDF, Open XPS, and more.
Highlight, translate, Google, and/or change the font of any text you wish.
You probably want to know why I put EBookDroid at the bottom of the list.
It appears that it doesn’t have its own website. During my search, I was only able to find info about it on other sites and through screenshots on its Google Play page. To me, a website is essential for addressing FAQs and reaching out to customer service.
Therefore, you will need to download EBookDroid to learn more about its functions.
- Price: Free
- Download: Android
AlReader includes some pretty cool features like:
- Proper hyphenation for 20 different languages
- Support for dictionaries like AardDictionary and FreeDictionary
- “Slide” and “Wave” autoscroll components
- Supports reading formats like ZIP files, Docx, and HTML
- Restore/Save program settings
Despite its awesome components, I do have some nitpicks about AlReader.
While its website allows users to read it in Russian or English, the English version has some grammar and spelling errors. Also, a snapshot on the site covers some of the words, making the paragraphs a bit hard to read.
Furthermore, its Google Play page is in Russian, so unless you’re fluent in Russian, you’ll need to use the “Translate This Page” command to convert it to English.
- Price: Free
- Download: Android
Want access to 50,000+ books? Think about downloading eReader Prestigio!
Through eReader Prestigio, you can read stories in over 25 languages in PDF, TXT, and other formats.
This app even has a Text-to-Speech feature if you would rather have a book read to you.
While eReader Prestigio doesn’t have its own site, it shares space with other Prestigio products including document apps and antivirus software.
- Price: Free
- Download: Android
12. Moon+ Reader
Moon+ Reader is a well-known reading app that was once part of Google Play’s Editors’ Choice program back in 2018. And as of now, the app has a 4-star average rating.
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular since it grants you access to thousands of books that supports ODT, RAR, WEBP, and many other formats.
In addition, you can localize Moon+ Reader texts in more than 42 languages, track your reading speed, adjust its brightness, and much more.
It might interest you that Moon+ Reader has a paid version called Moon+ Reader Pro.
Moon+ Reader Pro contains the aforementioned features and bonuses like an ad-free experience, password protection options, and customer support via email.
Through FullReader, you can read comics, magazines, texts, and of course e-books.
This app also includes an MP3 component, allowing you to listen to audiobooks and music.
Other features include cloud storage, night/day modes, bookmarks, editing capabilities, and lots more.
FullReader displays ads, but there are two ways to opt out of them: make a one-time purchase or pay a monthly subscription with a 10-day free trial.
I couldn’t find the price for the ad-free options. However, you may get an answer by filling out the technical support form at the bottom of the website.
- Price: Free; Unknown price for ad-free versions
- Download: Android
FB (Favorite Book) Reader is a reading app that has had over 30 million downloads so far. (Wow!)
It supports plain text, RTF, and lots of other e-book formats.
FBReader’s Book Network provides online storage space for your texts. It lets you organize them by series or author. The Book Network even enables syncing across your favorite mobile devices.
Are you a developer? Build your own reader via the FBReader SDK (Software Developer Kit).
If you want, you can download FBReader Premium, which comes with extra features like Google Translate integration and support for comics and PDF formats.
Reading and socializing is what Bookmate’s all about.
Besides having 50,000 free books at your fingertips, you can use this app to share books with your buddies as well as keep up with what they’re reading.
Read genres like detective stories, biographies, and more in over 15 languages.
Bookmate even allows you to upload your own books as long as they’re in EPUB or FB2 formats.
Moreover, this app offers podcasts and audiobooks through its Premium subscription.
PocketBook Reader permits you to read an e-book regardless of the device you’re using. That’s because its feature — PocketBook Cloud — syncs your settings and e-books across computers, phones, and its flagship product: the E Ink e-readers.
This app supports various e-book formats like MOBI, Adobe DRM, and FB2.zip.
Prefer to listen to a story? PocketBook Reader plays MP3 and MP4 files, too.
This app should whet the appetite of bookworms since it offers more than five million titles.
Whether you’re in the mood for an e-book or audiobook, KoboBooks provides free text/audio samples to try out before purchasing a story.
Additionally, you can toggle between your collection of e-books and audiobooks with a single tap when you feel like reading or listening to a tale again.
KoboBooks also allows you to look up words that confuse you, highlight them, and make important notes in e-books.
This app even offers CarPlay, a feature that lets you drive and listen to an audiobook at the same time.
Unlike a lot of reading apps, you don’t have to pay for a premium version to get rid of ads with eBoox.
Use this app to read in supported formats like RAR, ZIP, HTML, DOC, and more. You can even sync files between your smartphone and computer.
If you need to ask questions — or you just want to chat — eBoox offers a chat feature via its Telegram Chat Group.
Bring Barnes & Noble to your home through Nook.
Nook is an incredible reading app that provides over 300,000 audiobooks as well as more than 4 million e-books, manga, comics, and other kinds of reading material.
Unsure of what to read or listen to? This app offers Audiobook Subscriber Favorites and an eBook Top Ten list to help you decide.
Nook also provides page and font style options to customize your reading experience.
Though you need an Amazon account to utilize the Kindle app, it’s worth signing up for.
With so many free Kindle books, you will never run out of books to read. Select from more than six million titles from multiple genres. (Some Kindle books even come with Audible narration in case you want a story read to you.)
Kindle also comes with an intriguing feature called Kindle Vella. Kindle Vella has serial stories with three free episodes each. Once you finish the free episodes, you have to buy special tokens to listen to more episodes.
Likewise, this app provides lookup tools like Wikipedia and Google to look up a word or learn more about a character.
3. Apple Books
Apple Books is perfect for users who love reading and Apple products.
Search through the Audiobook Store and/or the Book Store and select a story for bedtime reading or background noise.
Apple Books’ Reading Now component helps you pick up where you left off as well as recommend books based on your reading history.
Like setting reading goals? This app’s Reading Goal feature keeps track of your reading and listening habits to aid you in building healthy reading habits.
- Price: Free
- Download: Apple
You’ll never have to worry about not having anything to read with Google Play Books since it has millions of titles at your disposal.
If you like reading comics, this app includes a Bubble Zoom feature that makes the pictures and captions easier to read.
Sync any notes you take in an e-book to Google Drive to refer back to them later. You can even command Google Assistant to play audiobooks.
Why is the Wattpad in the No. 1 spot?
Even though I personally haven’t used the app, I browsed the site and found some cool information about it.
Wattpad doesn’t only offer original stories to read; it also provides a platform for writing stories. You can even get paid for your stories and gain opportunities to get them adapted as a film or TV series.
Furthermore, there are premium options that give you unlimited stories without interruptions from advertisements.
- Price: Free; Wattpad Premium: $4.99/month (7-day free trial); Wattpad Premium+ $7.99/month
- Download: Android/Apple
Thanks to reading apps, you can basically bring a bookstore or library home with you. Relax with a good e-book or audiobook by downloading one or more of the best free reading apps on Earth today!