When one is a voracious reader, one is frequently in the difficult position of figuring out how to take their books with them. On the subway, to the beach, on planes…Because going somewhere without them? Forget about it. But lugging them all over creation is inconvenient to say the least. Being caught mid-vacation without something to read is my nightmare. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Many reading apps.
Whether you’re Android or iOS, smartphone or tablet, keep your charger close, take your pick of these excellent free reading apps, and you’ll never be without something to read again.
Free Reading Apps
These free reading apps are free to download and also offer free books through their app.
The most interesting feature for this app is its highly customizable reading interface. Enables reading for ePub, PDF, and Adobe DRM encrypted files, and lets you shop for new reads within the app, including many free classics. If you opt to pay for the Premium version, you can add as many audiobooks as you wish, as well as highlight and leave notes as you read.
A great way to discover new authors with freebie chapters, short stories, and even novels. Syncs right into your Kindle Fire.
This reading interface supports most popular ebook formats, and is extremely customizable, so that you can create your own online reading environment. Access reads through your library or bring your own books by uploading to Google Drive and connecting to the app.
Another discovery platform, Oodles boasts 50,000+ reads and more than 10 languages. So learn Russian, why not.
This app lets you connect to your local library and access anything within its database, including both ebooks and audiobooks, and even watch video, by simply connecting your library card. Warning, you won’t be able to check out books if you have delinquent fees, not that I know this from experience or anything.
Much like BookFunnel, this network is set up to help readers discover new authors with promotional freebie reads, and syncs to most ereaders.
This network allows authors to promote exciting new works to eager readers, making it a great place to discover new favorites. Geared toward social reading, it allows you to share thoughts via notes as you read.
Android, iOS, Microsoft
Free Download, Pay for Books or Subscription
These are free reading apps to download, but from there you pay for a book subscription. Many are pretty affordable.
Amazon’s audiobook subscription service, with different levels so you can scale based on your listening pace.
Android, iOS, Windows Phone; syncs to any Amazon device, laptops, and many others
Apple’s bookstore for both ebooks and audiobooks. Designed to be simple and accessible across any Apple device.
Amazon’s ereader platform. Access your Kindle ebooks on any device, synced so you can pick up where you left off, and sync to Goodreads. They also offer some free Kindle books through the app.
Android, iOS, Mac, PC
(Pssst, want to give Kindle a try for free? Here you go.)
Another robust app with the usual features like highlighting, custom recommendations and the like. Kobo is not as big as Kindle or Nook, but is about as robust and emphasizes a more “indie shop” experience.
Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows, Desktop
For the Amazon holdouts, the Barnes & Nobles ereader’s companion app will let you sync your reading experience to your smartphone or desktop so your books can come with you anywhere. It also now features a serial reading experience.
Android, iOS, Windows
Structured more like TV than novels, Serial Box offers episode-sized pieces of stories on a weekly basis, developed by teams of writers. The app offers both text and audio versions of each story, with the ability to switch between the two as you go.
Android, iOS, Desktop
Looking for reading apps for kids? Get them here.
And here are even more great apps to support your reading life.