6 Best Desktop eBook Readers For Reading At Home (Or At Work)

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ebook readersDo some reading on your computer. Whether you’re looking for free access to classic works of literature or desktop access to your current Kindle, Kobo or Nook books, there is a wide variety of eBook readers out there so you can read on your computer. Reading on a computer isn’t without its advantages. The screen is big, so you can make the font as big as you want; perfect if you have vision problems.

More than anything, though, reading on a computer is nice because it’s a device you already have. Buying expensive hardware just to do one thing can be pricey, especially when computers can do pretty much everything those devices can (and more).  As Mark once asked who needs the Kindle if you have a netbook?

Here’s a list of what I think are the best desktop eReaders out there. Be sure to check out the comments below to find out what software your fellow readers recommend.

Calibre: The Ultimate eBook Software

Sometimes called the iTunes of eBooks, Calibre is the ultimate way to manage your collection on a desktop computer. It’s compatible with seemingly every known ebook format on the planet, and supports sending books to a wide variety of handheld ereaders and smartphones.

This program does too much for me to describe here, so find out all about Calibre in Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre, a free MakeUseOf download. This eBook, by Lachlan Roy, outlines pretty much everything you need to know.

ebook readers

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Know this too, though – Calibre features a full-featured eBook reader as well as collection management. So if you want to manage and read your eBooks, Calibre is all you need.

Google Books

Prefer using something in your browser? That makes sense. You might not be able to install software on your work computer, or you might switch computers regularly. Whatever your reason, you should check out Google Books, which gives you access to an eBook reader in your browser.

compare ebook readers

Google’s store offers thousands of titles for sale, and a wide variety of free books as well. A minimalist reader in your browser stays out of your way so you can do what you want to do – read.

Firefox EPUB Extension

Do you want to read in your browser, but have already downloaded the EPUB files you want to read? You’re in luck! A Firefox extension for reading EPUB files works really well, and is free to install right now. You’ll need to be using Firefox, of course, but it’s a great lightweight eBook reader some may love.

compare ebook readers

Magic Scroll

Upload your EPUB file so you can read it in your browser. MagicScroll is a great web-based eBook reader, featuring a very minimal interface and intuitive keyboard shortcuts. Reading with this software is a pleasure, so I suggest you check it out if the other programs aren’t to your taste.

compare ebook readers


ebook readers for pc

Do you already own a Kindle eReader, or make use of the Kindle app on your smartphone? Make sue you install the Kindle software for your desktop computer, then. You’ll be able to read your Kindle eBooks on your desktop. Best of all, your pages and bookmarks will stay in sync with your device.


Own a Kobo instead of a Kindle? Me too! Good news: Kobo’s desktop software gives you access to thousands of free eBooks, and it’s free to download.

ebook readers

You can manage the books on your Kobo account, which can wirelessly sync with your device. Even if you don’t own a Kobo, however, this software is worth checking out.


Are you a Nook user? You should check out the Nook software then. Like the above two programs, this eBook reader gives you access to books you’ve purchased at its respective store, and syncs. Check it out!


There you have it – the six best desktop eBook readers for your computer at home or work. Disagree with the list? Let me know, because I’m always willing to learn. I’ll be in the comments below, waiting to hear from you.

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Comments (15)
  • orange county plumbing

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  • Jabulani

    we were talking about ienhcs and them not belonging to the metric system. how could you mess up such easy facts? and, btw, Hongkong as a part of China is using the metric system as well as India (since the early 60s). so where are your 3 billion now? guess whos eneducated here? I didnt tell you to use Wikipedia as the only source, so what speaks for himself in that matter? you just dont want to get things right, do you? :p

  • Richard Wallis

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for mentioning MagicScroll again.

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I launched a new version on Tuesday, so it may not be as polished as usual.  There are a few features missing at the moment but they should reappear over the next few days.

    The new version of MagicScroll is still very simple but there are a couple of improvements: 

    MagicScroll no longer needs an internet connection on Chrome, Safari and Firefox.  If you add a book from your harddrive it’ll process it fully clientside and add it to your library.

    Books should load significantly faster and scrolling now adapts to the amount of text under the line, so you’re able to read for longer without touching the keyboard.

    I’m still working on Android, iPad and iPhone, so users may have a bit of trouble with those platforms for a couple of days.  They should be fully functional early next week.

    Anyway thanks again for the mention, if anyone wants to get in touch for any reason, or if you notice a bug, please email me at support at magicscroll.net and I’ll do my best to help out.

    Kind Regards
    Richard Wallis
    (Developer MagicScroll.net)

  • Ibrahim

    Justin — just how did you allow people like Julio (the above) to post ads that take you to a nasty website? The last time I wanted to add a comment, I was blocked because you wanted to monitor the content.

    • jhpot

      Sometimes stuff gets up before the moderators can handle it. It’s very challenging to balance giving people the ability to comment while also keeping out the crap. We’re getting better at it all the time, though!

  • Paul Baughman

    I miss read the title. I thought you were reviewing ebook readers. *is disappointed.

    • jhpot

      Sometime in the future, perhaps…

    • Nelly

      Yeah, I can sell the ebook for whatever I want (well, 99 cents and above; they only let puiershlbs set the price for free). But with the physical book, since it’s print on demand they print it out each time it’s ordered it costs Amazon a certain price to do that. So you can only lower the print book so much.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.