- EPUB (or electronic publication) is a popular eBook format that you can access on any device, irrespective of the platform it is running.
- If you prefer reading eBooks on your computer, you can access EPUB books on your Mac or Windows computer using an EPUB reader.
- Following are our recommendations for some of the best EPUB readers for Mac and Windows.
eBooks have gained tremendous popularity in the past decade, thanks in part to several technological advancements. Dedicated eReaders, such as the Kindle, Kobo, and NOOK, have enabled people to read books while on the go, making them realize the benefits of going digital.
However, even though eReaders still offer the best eBook reading experience, they are not the only solution at this point. As it turns out, you can also enjoy digital books on your computer: although to be able to do that, you need your eBooks in a format that is broadly compatible across various devices.
EPUB (or electronic publication) is one such book format supported by various eReaders. It is basically an archive file comprising HTML, images, and a few other supporting files. All hardware eReaders, except the Kindle, support EPUB as the standard XML-based eBook format. In addition, you can also access EPUB files on your computers and mobile devices.
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Best Mac and Windows EPUB Readers
There is a wide range of EPUB reader apps for Mac and Windows computers, free or otherwise. While some of these get you basic reading functionality, others offer additional features to enhance your reading experience.
Following is a list of the best EPUB readers for Mac and Windows. If you prefer reading eBooks on your smartphone, we recommend checking out our picks for the best EPUB readers for Android and iOS.
1. Calibre [Mac/Windows]
Calibre is a free and open-source eBook manager with a huge base of developers and testers. The app has a clean and user-friendly interface. As per its developer, “any action you plan to perform on the app takes not more than 3 three clicks to get done”. Talking about features, you get a bunch of features and settings to customize your reading experience. For instance, you have the option to view and edit metadata for eBooks, convert eBooks into different formats, add bookmarks and notes, and adjust formatting with page margins, book’s style, etc.
What’s even more interesting about Calibre is that it comes with a built-in browser that allows you to share and download eBooks from within the app. And, most importantly, it supports a wide range of file formats (including EPUB) to allow you to read or convert books. Additionally, to keep you caught up with the latest news and trends, the app also displays the most relevant stories from various sources, including The Economist, Washington Post, New Yorker Magazine, and The Guardian, among others.
2. Adobe Digital Editions [Mac/Windows]
Adobe Digital Editions is one of the popular eReader apps, especially for the EPUB file format. It provides a rich reading experience and offers support for dynamic image resizing, better image rendering, and right-to-left reading. Additionally, there is also support for multiple languages, along with the ability to create bookmarks, highlight text, or even take notes while reading. You can also use the software for offline reading, without an active internet connection.
Talking about other features, Adobe Digital Editions automatically organizes all the books you purchase or download in one place to make it easier for you to find them. Besides, it also supports full-text search functionality, which allows you to search for keywords across different books and navigate between pages using the provided link. With Adobe Digital Editions, you can even create custom bookshelves sorted by title, author, and publisher, borrow books from online libraries, and most importantly, read books in other eBook formats such as EPUB, EPUB3, and PDF.
3. FBReader [Mac/Windows]
FBReader, also called Favorite Book Reader, is one of the popular eBook readers available with cross-platform compatibility. It includes an extensive collection of eBooks, spread across different genres, to cater to every reader’s requirements along with support for an array of file formats such as EPUB, B2, MOBI, RTF, HTML, and more. The app also provides cloud access with Google Drive, so you can sync all your books and easily access them at all times. Needless to say, cloud access also unlocks cloud syncing, which lets you sync your reading progress, bookmarks, and notes across all your devices for a seamless experience.
Other reading features for FBReader include the ability to customize some of the app settings like colors, fonts, page-turning animations, etc., to personalize them to your liking, the option to organize your library by series, authors, etc., and also, the ability to add books stored locally on your computer and read on the app.
4. Neat Reader [Mac/Windows]
Neat Reader is a paid EPUB viewer available on both Mac and Windows computers. It has an elegant and clean interface that is easy to navigate around and use. Like most EPUB readers, Neat Reader also gets you the EPUB reader, and it remains free: paid plan extends the app’s feature set to offer a more enriching experience. Some of its key features include the ability to highlight text, annotate eBooks with your thoughts/ideas, and customize the visual appearance.
In terms of advanced/premium features, ones that come under the paid plans, Neat Reader gets you an ad-free experience, access to 10GB of cloud storage, advanced customization settings, no limitation on the number of linked devices, and a few other features. Moreover, there is support for both EPUB2 and EPUB3 standards, along with the option to store book files, notes, annotations, and reading progress on the cloud. You can check out the premium plan with the free 7-day free trial.
Apple Books is the default eBook reader app on Mac and other Apple devices. It comes pre-installed on Mac and similar to the iOS/iPadOS app, it offers a broad collection of books across different categories. You can download your favorite books and save them to a library for offline access. Moreover, you can also create bookmarks and notes and highlight important texts you come across while reading. Apart from eBooks, the Apple Books app lets you listen to audiobooks on the go.
5. Nook [Windows]
NOOK is one of the best EPUB software apps for Windows. It comes from Barnes & Noble, which is one of the largest booksellers in the world. The app provides a 14-day free trial that gives you access to newspaper and magazine subscriptions for free to try out. Besides, it has a comprehensive book collection across different genres, targeted towards catering to different readers. Like a few other EPUB readers, NOOK also supports different eBook file formats, including ePub and PDF, so you can import these files from your machine and find all your favorite books all in one place.
Moreover, NOOK also gives you the option to search your book library and create and manage bookmarks and notes. You can even customize your reading experience by changing some of the eBook settings on the app, like fonts, spacing, themes, and more as per your preference.
5. Apple Books [Mac]
Apple Books is the default eBook reader app across all Apple devices and comes pre-installed on the Mac. Similar to its mobile app, the desktop app also provides a huge collection of books spread across different categories. You can download your favorite books and save them to the library for offline access, which can then be accessed even with no internet connection. Moreover, you can also create bookmarks, notes, and highlight important texts you come across while reading. Besides eBooks, the app also gives you the option to listen to audiobooks on the go.
Talking about other features of Apple Books, the eBook app offers customizability options to let you personalize your reading experience. Some of the settings it lets you change include the ones for font, font size, background, and brightness. Besides, you also get the auto-night mode option in the app, which toggles automatically according to the ambient lighting situation to reduce eye strain.
Reading EPUB eBooks on Mac and Windows
Using the EPUB software on this list, you can easily access and read eBooks in the EPUB format on your Mac and Windows computer. Although all of these apps work absolutely fine, we recommend you try out a few to find the one that suits your requirements.