Do 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.