Looking for a good e-reader? Check out Bonfire Reader for BlackBerry 10

By Alicia Erlich on 16 Sep 2013 08:22 pm EDT

Commuting back and forth to work each day affords me the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with my BlackBerry Z10. There are games, social networking apps and internet searches to keep me occupied on the arduous journey. What I also enjoy, is catching up on my reading. While there are multiple eBook readers in BlackBerry World, I though I would give Bonfire Reader a try. As a native, Built for BlackBerry application it features a 3D virtual page flip to give it a smooth and visually appealing experience.

In terms of compatible formats, Bonfire Reader, as of now, opens DRM-free ePub books from any source. While this may be limiting for some, the internet offers plenty of sources to locate them including Project Guttenberg and Google Books. 

One of the main selling points of this application is the 3D virtual page turning. Without a doubt, it precisely follows your finger on the screen no matter how fast you turn or where you choose to do so. Pages load instantly without lag, which is what you expect from an e-reader. When it comes to text, it formats correctly by filling the screen with the ability to adjust font type and size.

In terms of navigating, a simple tap on the right goes to the next page while a tap on the left takes you to the previous one. Tapping on the center brings up the navigation menu which offers quick access to adjust brightness levels, font size and type, the table of contents to skip to other chapters, access to bookmarks, and a view of highlights and notes. One last feature included in the menu is reading mode. Using this, you can switch between normal, sepia, and night mode for different viewing capabilities or adjust the margin.

Sometimes I find when turning a page the text is already selected. While this bug may be slightly annoying, simply tap on the overflow icon and choose cancel selection to clear. Highlighting allows you to select and color code text, add notes, and search the dictionary for meanings of unfamiliar words. Simply select text as you normally would and tap on the area once to bring up the appropriate menu.

Now you might ask how easy is it to load and manage your library. The process is automatic and upon loading for the first time it scans the books folder on your device or SD card though other folders may be added from settings. To load additional titles simple tap on the overflow menu and select refresh. All appear on the main page and are sortable by author or book title. Those with a large library will appreciate the search option to go directly to a title or author without scrolling. 

When it comes to reading with Bonfire Reader, you won't find yourself struggling to read on a smaller screen such as the Z10. I find myself sneaking a chapter here and there throughout the day on mine. 

The Good
  • 3D page turning
  • Easy to read full page layout
  • Customizable screen - Font size, brightness, day/night mode
  • Auto import of files
  • Multiple bookmark capability
  • Q10 shortcuts
The Bad
  • Lack of auto-rotate (Landscape) support
  • Limited format capability
  • No cloud support to sync files
The Bottom line

Some glitches still remain to sort out though it is intuitive, easy to use, and runs fast. I have tried other readers and though they offer more in terms of functionality they freeze and the layout is unpleasant. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, Bonfire Reader does get the job done which is to give you a nice user interface with which to read your favorite novels on your BlackBerry 10 device no matter where you are. You can grab it at the link for $1.99. 

More information/Purchase Bonfire Reader

Reader comments

Looking for a good e-reader? Check out Bonfire Reader for BlackBerry 10


How does Bonfire compare to Book Reader? The app I've been using on my PlayBook and Z10 for quite a while now.

One of the most annoying thing about this app is the User Guide that can't be deleted and I really dislike it's cover design.

Posted via CB10

As of the latest version - it CAN be deleted :) Sorry to hear about the cover design. We'll consider re-designing it if sufficient concern arises.

As long as they are ePub files, which I believe Kindle uses, and they are not DRM protected. If they are DRM protected, then this reader will not read them. There are tools online that allow you to remove the DRM, but seeing as how this is illegal I do NOT recommend it.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on

You can only read DRM free ePub books at this time. Kindle uses AZW3 files in addition to being able to read other formats (i.e. Mobi, PDF, HTML, DOC, TXT, etc.).

Supporting MOBI format used by Kindle is out next priority. In the mean time, you can use Calibre tool to convert from MOBI into ePub without any loss of formatting or quality.

I've been using book reader for long time both on z10 and playbook before

Posted via CB10

My battery is already barely below average and you want me to start reading ereaders on the Z lol.

via CB10 (BB Z10 : BLK : OS 10.1) [ Channel @ C0012477B for BB News, MMA & Tech Updates ]

I've got Kobo and the drain wasn't terrible, maybe 10% every 30-45 mins? Uses less battery than 9gag and reddit. Brain growth instead of killing it and less battery drain in the process. :D

I think the battery drain for reading is fair.

Please Join my "Men's Fashion & Lifestyle" BBM Channel, Gentlemen: C001214D9_

Proud support of BlackBerry (Q10/Z10/PlayBook 16 & 64GB)

I use a sideloaded Android app called Moon Reader. It works pretty well and has a lot of customisations.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on

3 things to add for me to swap from the one I currently use (Moonreader = android port, I even bought the pro version)
Connect to a OPDS catalog.
Be able to use an image as a background (old page type, I feel a non uniform color screen is less tiring when I read)
A link to whatever cloud service to save reading page and bookmarks, and settings. I love reading on one device, changing to another and find back all my settings.
Finally and most important to me, I'd like it to work on playbook...

Starting point seems really promising and probably the best native app now.

Why anyone would switch to this reader over the Kindle app is confusing to me. The Kindle handles so many formats and works very well ... and it is free.

Posted via CB10