6 Best Desktop Ebook Readers for Reading at Home or Work
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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? Who Needs the Amazon Kindle When You Have a Netbook? Who Needs the Amazon Kindle When You Have a Netbook? Read More

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 learn more about Calibre and everything you need to know about it A User's Guide To Calibre eBook Manager A User's Guide To Calibre eBook Manager Easily manage, convert and transfer your books using Calibre, the swiss army knife of eBook software, and a variety of related programs. Read More .

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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 Find Beautiful Free eBooks In Google's New Shop [US Only] Find Beautiful Free eBooks In Google's New Shop [US Only] Read More , which gives you access to an eBook reader in your browser.

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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.

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Magic Scroll

Upload your EPUB file so you can read it in your browser. MagicScroll is a great web-based eBook reader Magic Scroll - A Beautiful Online HTML5 EPUB Book Reader Magic Scroll - A Beautiful Online HTML5 EPUB Book Reader Read More , 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 Kobo - Thousands Of Free Books For Your Computer Or Smartphone Kobo - Thousands Of Free Books For Your Computer Or Smartphone Read More , and it’s free to download.

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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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  1. Anonymous
    December 7, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Another Calibre alternative to recommend, Epubor Ultimate eBook Converter.

    Just because it's much more easier to use than Calibre especially when removing DRM.

    • Justin Pot
      December 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      $60, though, just so people know before searching.

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  3. Jabulani
    May 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

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  4. Richard Wallis
    December 9, 2011 at 3:39 am

    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)

  5. Ibrahim
    December 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    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
      December 9, 2011 at 7:26 am

      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!

  6. Paul Baughman
    December 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

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

    • jhpot
      December 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

      Sometime in the future, perhaps...

      • Nelly
        May 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

        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.

  7. Sergey
    December 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Strange list. Named "6 Best Desktop eBook Readers..." but most of the readers are online (and not specifically desctop) and too...general. Trere are no special book-reading software like ICE Book reader ( http://www.ice-graphics.com/ICEReader/IndexE.html ) and so on.

    • jhpot
      December 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

      For better or for worse, I tend to focus on cross-platform software. I'll look into Ice, though; seems cool.

  8. Sais
    December 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Kindle is my favourite because I can sync with desktop and Android phone. 

    • jhpot
      December 9, 2011 at 7:36 am

      Kobo and Nook both do this too!

  9. Cell Travis
    December 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I've been using the Mobipocket ebook reader on my desktop for the past 6 months and have found it to be quite good in terms of a flexible desktop reader. I've also tried the EPUB reader add-on for Firefox but overall, I've come to like the .mobi format more.

    • jhpot
      December 9, 2011 at 7:36 am

      I find it's a lot easier to find EPUB files than MOBI, and I like open formats, but your point is well taken.

      • Lillie
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