ePub (also written as EPUB or EPub) stands for Electronic Publishing and is a standard e-book format which is used by all popular e-book readers out there, including Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone/iPod Touch (using various e-book apps), and more. ePub files have .epub extension.
There are various online as well as desktop tools which allow users to read .epub formats. We have covered four ePub readers which we believe you all should know about.
Bookworm (Online Service)
Bookworm is an online service that aims to be become a leading free platform for reading ePub books online. It is part of O’Reilly Media. It takes only three steps, create an account, upload an ePub book or magazine, and start reading.
The benefit of this service is that you can read the e-book online no matter where you are located and which device you are using.
EPUB Reader Firefox Add-On (Windows/Linux/Mac)
EPUBReader is a handy add-on for Firefox that can directly open any ePub format quickly. It is indeed faster and quicker than desktop software and shows the graphics far better than bookworm service.
This add-on opens the ePub file just like you can open PDF file in Firefox browser. Just hit the download link of any ePub book and select Open. If you have already downloaded the ePub book, then you can open it with Firefox.
The interface is customizable, which means you can change the background colors, etc to your own liking. The navigations buttons are given at the bottom along with the option to change the fonts.
Stanza is a desktop ePub reader and converter that is fast, light-weight, and simple. It can be used to save bookmarks and quick conversions. You can convert .epub format into tens of different other document formats including doc and pdf formats. If you want to read the ePub file in Amazon Kindle, there is an option for that as well.
The only downside is formatting and navigation, the two most important aspects. For formatting it can be compared with Bookworm service but is not as great as EpubReader add-on for Firefox.
MobiPocket Reader (Windows)
MobiPocket Reader is not only an advanced ePub books reader but is also a great professional books organizer. You can import books in PDF, ePub, or Office formats and organize them quickly. Just double-click a book and start reading.
The formatting of MobiPocket is better than the above mentioned tools and has an option to zoom into the book, useful for those who want to read the tiny text on the book. Also there is an advanced search box given on the top-right side which can drastically help in saving time.
Update: Also check out FBReader, which is an outstanding eBook reader, manager, and downloader.
Update 2: As a side note, you will also be interested in PaperCrop. A free tool that allows optimization of PDF file so that it takes less space and opens faster on mobile devices.
For quicker distraction-free reading, I found EPUBReader add-on to be the best. For traveling, I would prefer using Bookworm since all uploaded books can be accessed from anywhere in the world. For converting ePub books and reading them without worrying about Firefox crash, I would prefer Stanza. Lastly, if I am looking to organize all the books in one place, then MobiPocket Reader is the app to of choice.
All the above mentioned tools are great but the final selection would depend entirely on the user. Choose your app and let us know which one you like the best. If you know of any other app, do let us know. We love to try out new tools and services. Enjoy!