Ebook Readers

5 Best Ebook Readers for Linux

Digital books provide a convenient way to carry a large library of books in your smartphones, computers, and cloud storage. The book reading experience on these devices depends on the reader’s software. This article will list various ebook management and reading apps for Linux. Some of these apps go beyond being simple readers and allow you to manage your entire digital book collection and convert them in different formats.

Calibre

Calibre is an all-in-one ebook management software that allows you to read, manage, and convert digital books. It supports a multitude of ebook file formats for both reading and conversion purposes. It can sync your book collection and reading progress across multiple devices. Calibre is a completely free and open-source app, being in development for over a decade. It is considered to be one of the most feature-packed and comprehensive ebook management suites available for desktop PCs.

To install Calibre in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install calibre

If there is no other ebook reader installed on your system, Calibre will automatically associate itself with popular ebook file formats like “epub”. You can launch the calibre reader by double-clicking on any valid ebook file format or you can right-click on the file, click on “Open With Other Application” and select e-book viewer app from the popup window. To launch the standalone Calibre ebook viewer app, click on the “E-book Viewer” app from the application launcher.

Calibre ebook viewer supports user bookmarks, syncing reading progress, changing styles of the book, dictionary lookup, etc. You can access settings of the ebook by right-clicking on any ebook opened in the Calibre e-book viewer app.

FBReader

FBReader or “Favorite Book Reader” is an ebook reader for PC and mobile operating systems. Some of the features of FBReader include support for numerous ebook file formats, support for opening files directly from compressed archives, options for managing and organizing your ebook collection, syncing of reading progress, automatic justification and hyphenation of text, text search, CSS styling, cloud storage, cloud sync, a web-based viewer, etc.

To install FBReader in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install fbreader

KOReader

KOReader is a free, open-source, and cross-platform ebook reader for desktop computers, mobiles, and other handheld devices. It is one of the rare third-party ebook readers that work on e-ink devices like Kindle and Kobo. KOReader features include support for multiple file formats, changing styles and formatting of the books, automatic hyphenation, support for Calibre network library, text search, dictionary definitions, translation support via Google translate, and an extensive plugin system.

You can get KOReader “deb” packages or “AppImage” files from here.

Once you have downloaded the appropriate file, run one of the following commands (replace <filename>):

$ sudo apt install <filename>.deb
$ chmod +x <filename>.AppImage

GNOME Books

GNOME Books is available in the default repositories of most of the GNOME-based Linux distributions. The ebook reader is pretty basic and lacks many features compared to other readers mentioned in this article. However, its main focus is on providing a minimal and clutter-free user interface for reading books. If you want something that just works out of the box without hundreds of options, this app may be apt for you.

To install GNOME books in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install gnome-books

Foliate

Foliate is a free and open-source ebook reader for Linux. It aims to provide a clean, modern, and distraction-free interface for reading books on desktop computers. Its feature set is on par with other popular ebook readers and includes all necessary options for changing the book styles and formatting, syncing the reading progress, user bookmarks, text search, dictionary lookup, and so on. Foliate also comes with basic text-to-speech support for ebooks, something that other desktop readers lack.

To install Foliate in Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution, run the command below:

$ sudo snap install foliate

More installation options are available here.

Conclusion

These are some of the best ebook readers available for Linux. Most of the ebook reader software today is focused on mobile and handheld platforms, so not much activity is seen in desktop readers. Mobile devices also include Google’s accurate text-to-speech engine and have edge over desktop readers as they provide users the convenience of reading on the go.

About the author

Nitesh Kumar

Nitesh Kumar

I am a freelancer software developer and content writer who loves Linux, open source software and the free software community. I maintain a blog that lists new Android deals everyday.