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android booksWhile I dearly love my Kindle, my smartphone is always with me. Also, the Kindle doesn’t have a backlit screen (which is the whole point of a Kindle really), and sometimes a reading lamp spreads too much light – such as when your significant other is trying to catch some sleep and you want to read in bed. So when I’m out and about, or late at night, I may find myself reaching for my smartphone rather than my Kindle for some quality reading material.

When I do that, the app I usually use is Moon+ Reader,  a superb e-book reader. I’ve tested several reader apps, and Moon+ just won me over.

android books

This is the front screen, and it actually shows one of the few weak points in the Moon+ experience – the banners. But still, the app’s creator needs to make a living somehow, and the ads are only limited to this screen. Let’s see what an ePub book looks like:

books for android

A few things to note here – it’s full-screen; there’s a slick information bar at the bottom that takes up very few pixels, yet clearly shows the battery percentage, current time, chapter name (if available) and your progress through the book. The whole thing feels very clean and polished. If you want to read during the day, you might want to pick a different theme.

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books for android

When you tap the center of the screen, you get the top and bottom bars. Most of the icons on the bottom bar are self-explanatory, but there are a few I’d like to dwell on.

First, let’s check out auto-scrolling (the Play button). Moon+ offers a number of auto-scrolling options:

books for android

The one I like best is the first one, Rolling blind by pixel. In action, it looks like this:

books for android phones

You can see the scrolling line near the top of the screen; in the screenshot it looks like a visual glitch, but in reality it’s a line smoothly scrolling down the screen, gradually revealing the next page, pixel by pixel. You can use the volume buttons to control the scrolling speed. I love this method, because the text you’re reading isn’t moving around while you’re trying to read it. When the speed is right, you can just get to the end of the page and move your eyes back up to the top of the screen, where the next page will already be waiting. It’s a very smooth reading experience.

Moon+ is extremely customizable.  You can get to the options using the right-most button on the bottom bar.

books for android phones

Visual options first:

books for android phones

You can tweak the font size, the colors, and the font itself.

Next, Control options:


This one just goes on and on, letting you configure what happens when you tap each area of the screen, the volume buttons, the Back, Search and Camera keys, and all sorts of swiping moves (right to left, left to right, top to bottom, bottom to top). In short, you can tweak, change and personalize just about anything here.

Next, Miscellaneous :


Note how it can keep your phone awake, and lets you swipe the two edges of the screen to adjust font size and brightness.  Much like the Control Options dialog, this one scrolls down for several screens, revealing settings such as “remind me to rest my eyes“, and others. Moon+ Reader also offers multiple themes, not just the two you’ve seen so far:

android books

Final Thoughts

Moon+ Reader is a fantastic ebook reader for Android, with numerous customization options and lots of power. If you’re looking to read books on your device, this is certainly one of the best apps to try.  However, if you prefer another, be sure to let us know about it in the comments below.

  1. Lynne Connolly
    November 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    My main problem with Moon+ is that it doesn't show bolds and italics in the book. So subtitles and chapter headings are the same text as the rest of the text. If you try to alter that by changing to publisher defaults, it goes to a really horrid font and a scrolling action to turn the page, which I don't like. You do get the italics, though.
    I've switched to Cool Reader, which doesn't have as slick an interface, but it does render the text properly.

  2. John
    October 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Does Moon+reader read Kindle format books, also?

    • Anonymous
      November 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      According to its Market page, it supports txt, html, epub, umd, fb2, chm, zip or OPDS. So AZW or Mobi (the Kindle formats) are not supported, it would seem.

  3. Guest
    September 18, 2011 at 1:33 am

    If you love your Kindle so much why not install Kindle on your smartphone

    • Erez Zukerman
      September 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Because you can't use it for reading ePubs.

  4. graphe
    September 6, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I would like to find reader with text copy, highlight and lookup function. 

    • Erez Zukerman
      September 6, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Moon+ offers copy and lookup. Re highlights, if you're looking for something that would really "stay" in the book (not just a temporary highlight), Kindle is your best bet.

  5. Ram
    September 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I like "Aldiko". has just the necessary features. :)

  6. Hector
    September 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    If you read most of your books on Kindle you'd surely have to be pretty bloody-minded to use any app other than the Kindle app to read books on Smartphones ...

    There are plenty good ebook readers (Amazon bought and ruined a few) but it isn't practical to diversify.

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