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Android Apps for E-Book Readers

When it comes to electronic book (e-book) readers, Amazon’s Kindle is probably the first name that comes to mind. The Kindle for Android app is easy to use, and despite the vast selection of e-books in the Kindle Store, you have to pry open your wallet if you want to read the majority of the available Kindle books. Other e-book readers for Android offer a larger selection of free e-books.

Following are the top e-book reader apps for Android:

  • Aldiko Book Reader (free; ad supported): This app offers access to a much larger library of free e-books than Kindle for Android does. However, many of them are older books — you won’t find any recent New York Times bestsellers here. But you will find plenty of classics, including many books that are often required reading for high school students.

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  • Audible for Android (free): This is an audio-based app that includes a number of audio-specific features, such as pause, rewind, and fast-forward. Audible for Android supports multitasking, so you can exit out of the app to check e-mail or surf the Web while you continue listening to an audio book.

    In order to download and listen to Audible’s audio books, you must become an Audible.com member. Memberships start at $14.95 per month. When you first install Audible for Android, you have the option of trying out the app without being a member.

  • Bible.is (free): This app offers multiple versions of the Old and New Testaments in many languages. In addition to text, many of the versions also include professionally recorded narration with dramatic readings and music soundtracks. Bible.is even offers a number of suggested “Programs” for Bible study readings.

  • Book Catalogue (free): For avid readers who quickly accumulate a large library of books, Book Catalogue helps tame your seemingly unmanageable book collection. This app looks up information for you, by scanning in the book’s barcode or by typing in the book’s ISBN. Book Catalogue gets this information from Google Books, including thumbnails of book covers.

  • Books WordPlayer (free): This app provides access to millions of free book titles from online sources such as Google Books, Smashwords, or Feedbooks. You can control how a book’s pages appear on the screen by adjusting the text and background colors. The Speak Chapter feature reads aloud the text of a book using your device’s text-to-speech functionality.

  • DailyStrip (free; ad supported): Whether you are a Doonesbury fan or prefer the likes of Beetle Bailey, chances are your favorite daily comic strips are amongst the 140 different strips that you can view with DailyStrip. You can view the current day’s comic strips or see ones from past dates.

  • Droid Comic Viewer (free): Mobile-comic publisher Robot Comics recognized that there wasn’t a decent comic book viewer app for Android devices, and took it upon itself to create Droid Comic Viewer, a versatile Android comic book viewing app. Droid Comic Viewer can read popular digital comic book formats, such as CBR and CBZ files.

  • Kindle for Android (free): This app provides nearly instant access to more than 750,000 e-books, including everything from just-published works, to New York Times bestsellers, to the classics, and more. Even if you own a separate Kindle device, you can still access all of your purchased e-books from your Android device with Kindle for Android.

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  • Okenko Books Reader (free): Gather your 4- to 8-year-olds and cozy up to some e-books for kids with Okenko Books Reader (“Okenko” is Czech for “small window”). Okenko Books Reader is a subscription service that publishes a new children’s book every two weeks. Subscriptions start at $2 per month. When you install the app, it includes one free book.

  • TinyComics (free): This app tracks the release dates for comic books from the major publishers for the current and coming weeks. Each comic listed includes a thumbnail image of the cover, a description of the issue, and its cover price. If you’re interested in smaller or independent comic book publishers, check out the Comic Shopper app instead.

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