Books open the door to undiscovered worlds and new ways of thinking. Reading can be a pleasurable hobby, a quest for knowledge, or a way to improve your own writing. E-books allow you to read whatever you like wherever you are without having to drag physical books along. Apps to read books for free make it possible to enjoy the world’s wisdom on your favorite devices.
Before beginning to look through this list, consider what kind of reader you prefer. There are generally two kinds of e-book reading apps: those that provide access to libraries filled with downloadable books and those that do not. The apps that do not offer access to a catalog will allow you to open third-party e-book files on your devices.
As the most popular way to read e-books, Kindle combines an intuitive reader with a vast book selection. With just a few taps, you can be reading any number of intriguing books. Because Amazon incentivizes authors to release on Amazon exclusively, Kindle will give you access to books that might not be on any other platform.
It might surprise you to find out that you do not need a Kindle device to download the Kindle app. If you have an Android or iOS phone or tablet, you can download and enjoy books via Kindle.
Although not as intuitive as other book-reading apps, Google Play Books is optimized for devices with minimal available storage. The reader function is powerful and works well, but offers little customization. This lack of customization means that if it works for your reading style, you will love it. However, it does not seem right, there is not very much you can do to adjust it.
Because Google Play Books works with other apps in the Google suite including Google Scholar and Google Docs, it can make reading for research nearly effortless. While there is a Google Play Books catalog, loading books from other sources must be done manually. This can be a hassle.
The easiest way to find out if Google Play Books will work for you is to download and try it. If you can get past the meager customization options and the limited catalog, this app is one of the best ways to read books for free.
Wattpad comes consistently highly rated by its users and promotes self-published authors. Through this platform, writers can release stories directly to the app’s 90 million users. To read books for free, however, you will need to contend with advertisements on the reading screen.
Because Wattpad is centered around the books written by its community, it is unable to read popular e-book formats like epub, Mobi, and azw3. However, this means that Wattpad is a powerful tool for self-published authors. The immense Wattpad community focuses on finding, reading, and promoting authors’ work.
If you have a good source for e-book files but no reader, Readera might be right for your needs. Because Readera focuses only on a single function, it provides a superior user experience. However, it is unavailable for iOS devices. Readera’s interface makes it easy to browse your device’s storage to find your e-book files.
In Readera, it is easy to select text. While this might not sound like an important feature for fiction reading, it makes foreign-language reading and research much easier. With this functionality, you can select a word or phrase, and go straight to your favorite search engine to find more information.
The eBoox reading app is optimized for those who frequently read e-books on different devices. Beyond synchronizing your book progress, eBoox stores bookmarks, quotes, and your library in the cloud. A minimal design keeps the focus on what is most important: the books.
This app comes with everything you would expect: an e-book reader and the ability to open popular e-book formats. Available on both Android and iOS devices, eBoox offers an advertisement-free reading experience. One intuitive advantage eBoox provides is the ability to turn the page with your device’s volume up/volume down buttons.
With Kobo, you can access a free all-in-one e-reading app. A moderately large library will keep you from running out of books any time soon, but Kobo is restricted only to what you download through their catalog. While there is a collection of free e-books, the library includes a selection of paid e-books and audiobooks available to purchase. Most of the titles are English, so this app is not as helpful for foreign-language reading.
Beyond the Kobo catalog, this reading app offers a high degree of customization. If you often find that the standard settings do not work for you, Kobo might be the perfect e-book reader for your needs. Because it is easy to select and then look up words and phrases, Kobo is well-suited for research. If you enjoy the Kobo app, there are Kobo e-reader devices available for purchase as well.
With Scribd, you have access to a catalog of nearly every book imaginable. Audiobooks, magazines, and sheet music are available as well. While there is a 30-day free trial, it does require a subscription to access that catalog indefinitely. You will be able to download new releases and big-name titles right away with this app. With that many titles available, Scribd does not allow you to open third-party books on its reader. Unlike other e-reading apps, Scribd works more like a library or rental – downloaded books expire after a certain amount of time.
When it comes to actually reading (or listening to) books on Scribd, there is plenty to make it an enjoyable experience. Because Scribd syncs with all your devices, you do not need to hassle saving your spot. Changing the background and text colors is easy. If you listen to audiobooks via Scribd, you can take full advantage of adjustable narration speed and a sleep timer.
For lovers of manga, manhwa, and manhua, MangaToon makes it easy to find stories that you will love. Every day, Mangatoon releases new comics in a variety of genres. If you are an author, you can also write and release your own stories on this platform. The most popular stories will be transformed into webcomics available on MangaToon.
As a reader app, Mangatoon is nothing short of seamless. It gives you the ability to download content to read offline. Many comics are available in a variety of languages including English, Vietnamese, Thai, French, and even Arabic.
Worldreader is a free reading app that gives you instant access to thousands of books. If you are not sure where to start, Worldreader will give you recommendations based on your preferences to help you discover your new favorite book. A variety of genres is available, and you can download the e-books to read offline.
Unlike the other apps on this list, Worldreader is operated by a charitable organization whose goal is to bring literacy to everyone in the world. With that mission, Worldreader offers books in 55 different languages. If you are wanting to practice reading in another language, Worldreader is the reading app for you. Even if you stick with English-language books, Worldreader has plenty to keep you busy.
Picking which free reading app is best for you depends on your needs, your reading habits, and your preferences. What you plan on reading also makes a difference. Some of these apps are more likely to have hot new titles by the biggest authors while others focus on self-published authors. Others make it possible to read e-books downloaded on your devices. If books provide the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants, a reliable e-book reader is like a ladder to help you climb up to those shoulders.
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