The Best EPUB reader for Windows?

  • Sumo

“What can I test this EPUB file with on my Windows computer?”

It’s a dreaded question for many ebook creators. While Mac users now have iBooks to push their clients to, Windows is stuck without a great EPUB3 reader. And nothing is worse than a client sending you a huge list of problems with their title that is actually just a list of rendering bugs from the reader app that you have no control over.

With that in mind, here’s a few decent readers to suggest to your clients using PCs.

BlueFire Reader

BlueFire recently released a Windows reader. BlueFire has been a leader on the Readium team and it has put a good effort into its first Windows release.

Readium Plugin for Chrome

It’s a bit of a cheat, but it might be the best solution for Windows Users. Readium’s open source EPUB3 reader renders a large subset of WPUB3, and every client should be able to access Chrome (hopefully!).

Adobe Digital Editions

The latest version of ADE is much improved over its previous version. It now supports a large subset of EPUB3. In my experiences, however, ADE is a real mess when it comes to titles with images in them. If you have a pure text title it might be worth a spin, though.

Kindle Reader

Hey, it’s not an EPUB reader, but if you know the book works well in KF8 it may be beneficial to have your client review it in the Windows version of Kindle Reader. It’s also good to remind your client that Kindle has a huge share of the market and is far more likely to be read there than a number of other readers in this list.

Calibre 

Yes, Calibre exists for Windows. It’s a great tool if you need to do some conversions but I would never recommend it as a reader—and definitely not for a client who wants to test a title.

 

Have any other recommendations for PC Users? I’ll gladly update this post with personal recommendations from our readers.

(Thanks to Laura Brady, Tina Henderson, and Jorge Hernández Valiñani for their contributions to this post.)

21 Responses to “The Best EPUB reader for Windows?”

  1. Kai Weber says:

    The Azardi Reader has a long history of supporting EPUB3 on the Windows desktop.

    • Frans van der Geest says:

      Azardi is the best, it renders FXL ePubs from InDesign correctly where even the latest ADE4 fails!

      • john says:

        That’s because InDesign’s FXL has a crap factor of 100%.

      • Frans van der Geest says:

        Johm why such a comment? If Azardi reads the FXL just fine, like iBooks, then the ‘crap’ here is ADE4, not InDesign…

      • Epub3 publisher says:

        I liked Azardi until it was not able to open my file, we have a 100+ page book with videos over 1 GB… The best one

  2. Zach says:

    An e-Book reader I’ve tried for windows and found to be worth the download is DL Reader (http://www.datalogics.com/products/ebook/rmsdk/dlreader/). For windows 8 users it is also in the Windows App store. It is supposed to run on both ARM and x86 devices and seems to work pretty well. It also supports a long list of DRM options, including ADE. I am not affiliated with the company but found the reader for a customer who asked this same question.

    Another option for windows users could be to install an Android emulator such as Bluestacks (http://www.bluestacks.com/). This gives you access to all of the e-Book apps on Google Play. This option is a little more “out there” but there are many options available to read ePub on an Android device.

  3. Meh says:

    So windows users are basically outcasts ?

    I wish I were a programmmer this seems like a niche begging to be exploited

    • Steviant says:

      Windows users are victims of Microsoft’s inability to make Windows output consistent across the huge range of devices they try to support in their quest to do everything.

      Companies like Apple that concentrate on delivering a seamless “experience” across a small range of supported devices have not only had better luck in delivering a consistent experience in the bundled software, they have made is much easier for third parties to do the same.

      It’s very very difficult to make a program that has pixel precise output scaled perfectly for every display on Windows, you would need at least two significantly different code bases to cover desktop and touch PCs and another for mobile devices where Windows capabilities vary significantly again.

      Its not impossible to make a decent reader for Windows, but it is significantly harder by several times. This niche has been underserved for so many years now, I’d be shocked to see anything decent until Microsoft can catch up to the other platforms.

      Give them ten years, and if Windows is still a thing, Microsoft might have migrated everyone onto the same frameworks.

  4. Malar says:

    Lektz eBook Reader works very well, since it supports PDF, ePUB2 and ePUB3 (Free-flow and Fixed Layout) across multiple platforms (http://www.lektz.com/homes/freeapps)

  5. Jerry says:

    The list looks pretty outdated.. I’d surely add Icecream Ebook Reader if I were you. Currently it’s the best or at least one of the best ePub readers for desktop. If someone really enjoys reading he’d never choose Calibre or Adobe instead.

  6. freddyzdead says:

    Can anyone tell me why FBReader for Android is so good, while FBReader for Windows has to be just about the worst there is?

  7. GollyRojer says:

    Derrick, you and one of your responders knock Calibre as a reader, but with no explanation why. The rating doesn’t help without the details. Please elaborate.

    • Jeffrey Johnson says:

      Sometimes it does not render formatting correctly – especially code snippets with indenting. There are other formatting issues as well, depending on the file.

  8. anonymous says:

    Bluefire reader is the best. you can try it

  9. ChazzN says:

    Does anyone know of a good ePub3 reader that supports presentation MathML? Thanks.

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  11. Saqib Ali says:

    thanks for sharing the post with us. keep posting such nice informative articles. good work indeed.

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