Best applications for using your BlackBerry PlayBook as an eReader!

Attention all book lovers! Are you looking for the best eReading apps that offer easy to read interfaces and a comfortable reading experience? Check out these top contenders!

PlayBook eReader
By Alicia Erlich on 10 Aug 2012 11:07 am EDT
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With the arrival of the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, this is the perfect time to showcase one of my favorite pastimes. I love using my PlayBook for reading eBooks each and every day whether I'm on the train commuting to and from work, or just relaxing on the couch.

The PlayBook is hands down a great device for reading ebooks. If you're looking for some applications to peruse your DRM free library, discover new authors, or just browse through a store to purchase new titles then these applications will help you get started on your digital journey. All of these applications vary with functionality but their purpose remains the same, to make sure all you bibliophiles out there access all those wonderful stories.

 

OverDrive Media Console

OverDrive Media Console by OverDrive, Inc.

OverDrive Media Console may be an android port but it delivers on the go access to eBooks and audiobooks from your local library's digital collection on the web (public, school, or college library) right to your BlackBerry PlayBook. There are more than 18,000 libraries worldwide that offer current and classic titles so all you need to do is find a library near you, browse through their selection, enter in a valid library card, and download the title. If you already own DRM-free EPUB eBooks you are able to read them in the application.

Each EPUB eBook and MP3 audiobook does have a lending period as if you went to the library in person. Best part is the title will automatically expire so there are no late fees to worry about. It even comes with a handy countdown clock to let you know. OverDrive is available for FREE for the BlackBerry PlayBook and most smartphones running OS 4.5 and higher.

More information OverDrive Media Console - Library eBooks and Audiobooks
More information OverDrive Media Console for BlackBerry PlayBook

PlayEpub

PlayEpub Book Reader by Jesus Iglesias

PlayEpub Book Reader offers real book-life pagination (tap screen to flip page), full image, support, text highlight, autorotation, and other great features to let you read non-DRM protected epub, Kindle and FB2 books. It has an easy to navigate interface that lets you easily browse and view your entire library. Once selected, you can change the font type and size, enable day/night/sepia mode, use gestures when reading, and adjust the brightness.

In addition to all of the above you can also sync files from your email account, download daily news sent by Calibre, create notes, share selected text on Facebook or Twitter, look up definitions with the built-in dictionary, and sync your articles with Google Reader, Instapaper, and Pocket (ReaditLater) accounts. While Kindle file support is only in beta, it does offer a variety of features to give you one of the best reading experiences on the PlayBook. PlayEpub is available in BlackBerry App World for $1.99.

More information / purchase PlayEpub Book Reader

Book Reader

Book Reader for EPUB and Kindle Books by Untangled Development

Our forums contain a vast wealth of knowledge and if you happened to visit the PlayBook Apps and Games section no doubt you've come across Book Reader. This application supports DRM-free eBooks in EPUB, MOBI (Kindle), FictionBook FB2, TXT and Microsoft CHM formats so that you are able to use multiple sources to compile your library.

Book Reader allows you to choose from any font available on the device, switch between predefined reader skins (fonts and background colors), and it remembers your place if you exit the application. What everyone loves is not only the functionality but the professional looking interface and how easy it is to use and customize. This is a solid ebook reader for the PlayBook, is highly recommended, and is available for only $.99 in BlackBerry App World.

More information / purchase Book Reader for EPUB and Kindle Books
Discuss in the forums

Kobo

Kobo Reader for PlayBook

Kobo comes preinstalled on your tablet (if not you can pick it up in BlackBerry App World) and while it may not allow you to add your own titles, it does offer a vast selection of free and paid books in their store including Newspapers and Magazines (limited to certain regions) so you'll never be without something to read.

There are various ways to customize this application as well. Kobo lets you adjust the font and font size, switch on Night Mode so that the background becomes black and the text white, as well as letting you dog ear the pages and view the table of contents. The application is FREE to download and if you don't want to carry around multiple devices is worth a try.

More information / download Kobo Reader
Review of Kobo for the BlackBerry PlayBook

Wattpad

Wattpad by WP Technology

During the BlackBerry PlayBook Experience in NYC, I had a chance to check out this application that is "YouTube for eBooks." It's a great way to discover fresh faced new authors and unlimited original stories by connecting with readers and writers from around the world. While you can't load your personal library, it does allow you to download short stories, novels, partial chapters, and more from their site and read them from without utilizing another third party application.

Wattpad is available for BlackBerry Smartphones running OS 4.5 and higher and the BlackBerry PlayBook running OS 2.0 and is FREE in BlackBerry App World.

More information / download Wattpad

Online readers 

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader

For those you haven't sideloaded the kindle App on their PlayBook, just fire up the browser and go to http://read.amazon.com. Once you enter in your credentials you'll be able to view your entire Kindle Library and choose whether you wish to download the book for offline reading or just open the book to read right then and there. It lets you sync your bookmarks across all of your devices and adjust the font size and color mode, and select your place.

While it was designed for another platform, you don't have to worry about losing all of your existing purchases or carrying around multiple devices. Please note it does work best in Portrait Mode.

Amazon Cloud Reader PlayBook Review

Nook for Web

Nook for Web

While there is still no word of a native Nook app, they recently announced that customers can read their library via the web similar to the Amazon Cloud Reader. While it works best and is recommended on your PC or MAC, you can access and read your entire library through the PlayBook's powerful browser.

Just like its counterpart discussed above, users can simply enter www.nook.com/NOOKforWeb into their browser to get started. Simply click on my library in the upper right, enter in your credentials, choose a book and you're good to go. Nook for Web lets you view the contents, adjust the font and page layout, and recommend or rate/review all from the browser. Books can be sampled for free and it will even sync the last page read for you in case you go back to your Nook to finish.

Discuss in the forums

Google Books

Google Books 

Not to be left out, users who downloaded or purchased books through Google Play can now read them via the full screen web reader. It features a slider at the bottom to easily scroll through different sections and automatically re-sizes if you switch from portrait to lanscape mode or vice versa.

Google books can be accessed by pointing your browser to http://play.google.com/books. Simply login to your google account to shop for new titles or to browse your existing library. Google's Web Reader lets you access the table of contents, add margin notes, change the viewing settings, search for specific words or phrases, and view additional information. 

More information on the Google Web Reader

Don't forget there are many sources on the internet to download free and legal (DRM-free) eBooks including Project Guttenburg, which is filled with thousands of books whose copyright has expired. For those with existing accounts, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Google Play all offer free eBooks for you to download in their respective stores.

Are you looking for additional ways to read on your PlayBook? There are more apps to be found in BlackBerry App World. If any of your favorites didn't make the cut feel free to add them in the comments below. 

27 comments

FredTT

Tried and removed almost all of them.

My preference was going to Book reader (I bough it last year and used it since may), but with the new android player, I'm now using "moon reader" that allows adding any OPDS library (and calibre server is great here).

Sprawl

Book Reader has been my go to reader on the tablet. It's not the most full featured. But it's inuitive, light, easy to use and customizable.

The thing that has impressed me most about it, is Untangled Dev's interaction with users on these very crackberry forums. he listens constantly to complaints and requests, and it's not unheard of to see him updating the app multiple times a week to include something a forum member has requested.

he's not the biggest player in the game but for a little guy, he's probably got the best service. for 99c, well worth the purchase

castleruins

+1 Does what I need and never fails. Book Reader.

veii

Kindle app for the UK would be nice.

wordy

I vote for GO Book. It's an android app, but freely available, and it's annotations are top notch.

Kingkracker

Great post! I've been using Book Reader, Kobo, sideloaded Kindle. Thanks to this post I can now get to my Nook library (which works great by the way). Thank you!

Xopher

Side loading the Kindle app has made for a nice reading experience on the PlayBook. I've had a Kindle since their first generation, so having access to my entire ebook library was something I was looking forward to. It just gives me another reason to carry my PlayBook around everywhere. :D

I'll have to check out Book Reader. It sounds like a good project.

BarracudaBob

I've been using Overdrive on my phone for years so it was a natural transition to start using it on the Playbook. I only wish that books were somehow sync'ed in the cloud so I could read on either device and pick up where I left off. I recently read Hunger Games on a trip to California so I found it interesting that you used that in the screen shot.

Joe257

How many e-readers do you have installed on your device? I only need one, maybe two.

spacedogg

1. Moon+ Reader (Sideloaded Android app)
2. Book Reader

luvsql

What about an anti-glare app so I can read outside?

Fish Crackers

anti-glare (matte finish) screen protector works good

Heavens1

+1

And I read in the bright/harsh Australian sun without probs using a Cygnet screen protector.

On Book Reader I use the 'sepia' setting for both outdoors and indoors reading and don't get eye strain at all.

SFWriter

So far i've tried Overdrive, Kobo, PlayEpub, and Svit ebook readers. In order of preference, I recommend Svit, Overdrive, and the Android side-loaded Kobo for the Playbook. I have been very disappointed in the PlayEpub reader and while I love Kobo, I hate their Plabook version of the reader. The Android version is slower but not as buggy as the native app. I have been in touch with Kobo about it and they assure me that they are in the process of fixing the app.

Joe257

When? It is disappointing.

Skeevecr

My ereader of choice on the playbook is the sideloaded Kindle app, it works fine and saves me the hassle of having to remove the drm in order to load the books onto a native app.

Here's hoping that amazon eventually see sense and releases a playbook/bb10 app as updates would be nice.

SummersLastNight

I use PlayEpub, it does everything i need it to. Can access ToC and swipe to chapters, tap for pages and much more. The only other one i tried was the Kobo app, but it wouldnt allow me to add my own books so it is useless to me.

Heavens1

Alicia thank you for this Review!!!

I read all the time on my PB as well, and whilst I am very happy with Book Reader, and also use Kobo, I like to know what else is available.

I would like to see a dictionary on Book Reader and also a bookshelf/file system that allows one to place books in categories like:

To be Read
Read

asiayeah

If you read Chinese ebooks, you might want to try Readopia (http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/117175/?lang=en). It displays Chinese traditionally in vertical columns or just as horizontal rows. It reads a special updb format from Haodoo (好讀網站), which provides lots of free high-quality Chinese classics.

It also supports reading plain text format (UTF-8 txt) from the internet, e.g. SFACG.COM (SF互动传媒网), Project Gutenberg.

For books in Traditional Chinese, there is an optional to read them as Simplified Chinese, too.

I can also use an external true-type font to customize the reading experience.

tekware

My primary reader is Aldiko (side loaded Android). I like it due to how easy it is to customise. I also have Moon+ Reader (also Android side load) and Book Reader.

sjaves

Very, very good reader and e-book creator software is Isilo:
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/97098/

EMSbyDay

I've been using the Pre-loaded Kobo app and loved it, up until the OS update last week. Now it will only load my book if I am connected to internet
, otherwise freezes on opening. WTF???

asiayeah

Yes, it's a known issue at PlayBook OS 2.0.1.668 (which RIM has pulled out quickly). You may either upgrade to PlayBook 2.1 beta or there's a workaround as mentioned in the crackberry forum, http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-tablet-os-f228/whats-wrong-2-0-1...

ragaro2003

wich ereader frome the list can i use to read Adobe Digital Editions protected ebooks ?

badshoehabit

Tried to access Kindle Cloud Reader but the site says my browser cannot handle the webpage and I must choose firefox or google chrome. Tablet won't accept either.

Playbook OS 2.0 64gb