10 best iPad and iPhone book-reading apps to enjoy every day

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Best iPad apps for reading books
Use a combination of a few apps to reach a new level in reading enjoyment. Choose from Kindle, Libby, Blinkist, Leio, Scribd, or Inkitt / Image: Freepik

Don’t limit yourself to one iOS book app. Play with as many as possible and select the ones that are most suited to fit your rich reading life.

There are hundreds of thousands of iPad and iPhone apps in every category in the App Store. Which one answers your needs the most? You won’t know it until you give yourself a chance to compare.

Even if you are a dedicated user of your favorite ebook platform, you may find out that the connected app is not perfect. It’s nearly perfect, at most. And “nearly” can be fixed by using extra apps that can do what your primary app doesn’t.

Us the following list to discover book apps that are designed to meet various needs. Take some time to play with each one – most of them are free to download. Some offer in-app purchases or subscriptions, but the free mode offers enough features to make up your mind.

Jump to the list

Once you make a shortlist, don’t force yourself to pick up the winner and remove all other apps. You do have more than one photo app, use more than one social network, and play more than one iOS game, aren’t you?

Don’t feel guilty of using more than one book app on your iPad or iPhone. The fact that you need a few apps – and you pick up each one for a different reason – doesn’t mean you can’t decide. It’s just the opposite! It means that you are highly effective in defining your reading needs and finding relevant solutions.

Recommended book apps for iPad and iPhone

  • Amazon Kindle – connect with the biggest and most advanced ebook platform in the world
  • Libby – the next-generation app to read ebooks and audiobooks from your public library
  • Inkitt – discover and read free books from contemporary indie authors
  • Leio – reimagine your reading life and stay motivated with powerful features
  • Scribd – a convenient subscription-based app to enjoy ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines

You can use additional apps to improve reading speed, motivate you to read more, get extra features (such as instant translations to less common languages or better private settings), listen to audiobooks, or support different file formats.

The description of each app comes together with a brief list of most useful features, compatibility, average rating in the U.S. App Store, as well as price information.

Is there an app that hasn’t made it to the list but it’s worth recommending? Feel free to share it together with this list in your social media channels and start a discussion.

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The best iPad and iPhone apps for reading books

1. Amazon Kindle app

Amazon Kindle app for iPhone iPad

Our pick: The most advanced book reader for iPad and iPhone

Kindle for iOS is one of these iOS ebook readers you have probably tried already. Everyone who owns a Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet downloads this app to the iPhone and iPad, just to compare the performance and interface, test common features, and decide whether the iOS powered device could become a default reading tool.

The app is constantly improving, keeping up with upgrades of the iOS, but – most importantly – improvements of the Amazon ebook-reading ecosystem.

Kindle is the most advanced book-reading app in the App Store. It offers features you already know, such as X-Ray reference tool, Page Flip in-book navigation, access to library ebooks, or Send to Kindle iOS Share Menu button.

On top of that, Kindle for iOS is now extremely well-connected to Amazon’s subscription-based services: Kindle Unlimited ($9.99-per-month unlimited access to over 1 ebooks, comic books, and magazines) and Prime Reading (a part of Amazon Prime – gives free access to a rotating list of over 1,000 ebooks and magazines).

My favorite feature of the app is Whispersync for Voice. With it, reading an ebook and listening to an audiobook is not “either or” any longer.

Whispersync for Voice technology lets you seamlessly switch between reading a Kindle ebook and listening to its audiobook version. All happens in a few taps! Even better, you can continue digesting the book at the location where you left off.

Benefits: Advanced reference tools, Whispersync for Voice lets switch between reading and listening, read-later feature via Send to Kindle button
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone
Price: Free

Average rating: 4.8/5

⇢ Kindle

2. Apple Books

Apple Books ebook reader

Our pick: Best integration with iOS and iPadOS

Apple’s own book-reading app (previously called iBooks) rarely gets an update. It usually happens with the introduction of the new iOS. However, for anyone who is looking for an app that’s 100% integrated with the iOS and iPadOS, there is no better choice.

Apple Books is the only app for iPad and iPhone inside which you can directly buy ebooks and audiobooks. Book reading apps from other ebook platforms don’t offer this quite obvious feature because Apple gets a huge fee from all in-app purchases.

The latest major update of Apple Books features a quick start Reading Now section, better library management, and automatic night theme.

Reading Now home screen includes books that the user might consider buying. Under the books that you’ve purchased, you will see titles that you’ve added to your wish list. Swipe down, and you will see recommendations from Apple ebook store in a few popular categories.

The bookstore has a dedicated section. The homepage includes lists of trending books, plus top charts in paid and free categories. When you tap the menu icon in the top right corner, you will also access trending titles in most popular genres.

The biggest benefit, however, is the automatic theme switcher. It’s something other book readers still don’t offer for iOS. What’s important, the dark theme is applied not only to the book-reading interface but also the library view.

Benefits: Easy to use, built-in bookstore, automatic night theme
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone
Price: Free

Average rating: Not available

⇢ Apple Books

3. Libby

OverDrive Libby app for library books

Our pick: The best iPad and iPhone app for library books

Are you looking for convenient ways to read free ebooks on your iPad or iPhone? You may be surprised to discover you can do it using your library card.

And there is an awesome app that will let you start reading library ebooks in no time. It’s called Libby.

Libby offers the next-generation approach to managing and digesting digital content. First, it’s a combination of the book reader and audiobook player – because modern libraries offer not only ebooks but also audiobooks.

Are you wondering how much time you would need to connect Libby app with your local library account? Keep calm. All you need to do is find your library card and download Libby from the App Store.

The setup process is easy. Libby, powered by OverDrive, will help you find your library and sign in. Everything happens in a few taps. More than 40,000 libraries in 40 countries are connected to OverDrive’s catalog of 2 million ebooks, audiobooks, and videos.

Libby’s most outstanding feature is the ability to sign up with multiple library cards. For instance, you can use the card from your school library and the second one from the local branch of the public library system offering books in your neighborhood.

Why is it important? If you want to read a hot new bestseller, you may wait in a queue in one library, but you may borrow it immediately in the other.

Libby’s next killer feature is a unified catalog where all your loans, from all connected libraries, and in all supported formats, are displayed.

Paraphrasing Laura Bush, “I have found the most valuable thing in my smartphone is my Libby app.”

Benefits: Easily borrow ebooks and audiobooks from a public library, ability to use multiple library cards, beautiful, user-friendly, next-generation interface
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone
Price: Free

Average rating: 4.8/5

⇢ Libby

4. Blinkist

Blinkist app - read key ideas from nonfiction books

Our pick: The best way to learn key insights from nonfiction books

Does the fact you don’t have enough time stop you from reading books? Thanks to a clever iOS app you can spend only 15 minutes a day to learn at the speed no one can beat. And it’s not a speed-reading app. It’s much smarter than that.

Blinkist provides summaries from over 3,000 bestselling books in several categories, including career, society & culture, nature & environment, health, entrepreneurship, education, economics, creativity, leadership, or communication skills.

Each book is distilled by experts into 15-minute read, available in both text and audio. The company adds 40 new titles each month, so you will never run of ideas what to blink-read next.

Thanks to Blinkist, you can discover new perspectives on the world, grasp emerging trends in your area of expertise, sharpen your professional skills, and keep motivated. With tailored book recommendations, you will always know what to read next.

The iOS app lets you seamlessly switch between audio and text, so that you can continue no matter what you are doing. There is an offline mode, send-to-Kindle feature, and ability to sync highlights to Evernote.

Blinkist offers a terrific service – great ideas distilled down to their very essence. For those of us who are deeply curious about new ideas on success, happiness, innovation, progress and more, it’s a great start.

– Forbes

Benefits: A smart way to learn faster through 15-minute summaries; personalized recommendations; audio and text modes
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free 7-day trial, subscriptions from $1.99 to $54.99

Average rating: 4.7/5

⇢ Blinkist

10 iPad apps to borrow and read library books

Read also 10 iPad apps to borrow and read library books

Top article
You can borrow ebooks or audiobooks for free from your local library and read instantly on your iPad or iPhone. All you need is a library card.

5. Google Play Books

Google Play Books app for iOS

Our pick: The best way to access your books from any device

No matter which app is your default reading tool for iPad or iPhone, Google Play Books provides a set of features that make it a great solution for your reading needs that are still not met.

First, for millions of Gmail users, Google Play Books is the easiest way to start reading ebooks on their new iOS devices. You don’t need to register for a new service (such as Kobo or Barnes & Noble Nook) to start reading ebooks.

Secondly, if you’ve switched from an Android-powered phone or tablet, and used Google Play Books there, you’ll find a familiar interface on the iOS device. What’s even more important, you’ll have your book library synced.

A benefit of the Google Play ecosystem is easy access to your book library from a web browser. If you want to read many ebooks online on your computer, you don’t have to download any special app to start reading. A web browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox, is enough. And you can have all these books synced to your iPad or iPhone so that you can continue reading on the go.

The most important feature of Google Play Books, however, is the translation.

Other book-reading apps offer translation for a limited number of languages. The translation feature in Google Play Books is powered by Google Translate. You can choose from over 100 languages, not five or ten. A killer feature is ability to translate not only single words but the entire text that you’ve highlighted.

The app supports audiobook playback. It can sync last listened location with other devices connected to your Google account. Thanks to that, you can play an audiobook on your Google Home smart speaker and then continue on your iPhone.

What’s important, all the content handled by Google Play Books can be used even if you don’t have access to the internet.

Benefits: Instant translations from/to over 100 languages, ease of use both on iOS and online (via web browser), quick start – Google/Gmail users don’t have to register
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone
Price: Free

Average rating: 4.6/5

⇢ Google Play Books

6. FBReader

FBReader for iOS - ebub and mobi ebook reader

Our pick: The best independent epub and mobi reader for iOS

Many users prefer independent book-reading apps over the ones offered by giant ebook platforms such as Apple or Google.

There are lots of book apps offered by independent developers. For a long time, Marvin and Gerty were our favorites, but they have not been developed since 2017, so we had to remove them from this roundup.

Also, there is still no Anybooks app for iOS, therefore former Android users may start looking around for other familiar solutions.

Right now, FBReader is by far the best independent book reader for iPad and iPhone. One of the most popular book-reading apps in the Google Play Store, it has been available for iOS devices since 2017.

The most prominent feature of FBReader for iOS is the support for both epub and mobi file format. As you may know, mobi is the format used by Kindle ecosystem, while most other ebook platforms use epub.

Compared to Google Play version, the iOS app is missing a few features, but it’s still the easiest and most familiar book-reading environment for users who have just switched from Android tablets and smartphones.

The app syncs your bookmarks and reading positions with FBReader cloud, offers several customization options, and is one of few iOS book apps that respect a system light/dark setting.

Benefits: Epub and mobi book reader in one; the best solution for users who switch from Android devices
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free; full edition for $3.99

Average rating: 4.3/5

⇢ FBReader

iPad cheat sheet 2020

Latest Apple iPad models

Together with links to tech specs and best case covers.

• • •

Apple iPad mini 5 - full info

Apple iPad mini 5, 7.9-inch

The world’s favorite compact tablet now comes with Apple Pencil 1 support and A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. Prices start from $399.

Storage: 64, 256 GB Colors: Silver, Space Gray, Gold

Tech specs Best cases

• • •

Apple iPad 10.2 - full info

Apple iPad, 10.2-inch

2160 × 1620 px Retina display, Apple Pencil and full-size Smart Keyboard support, Touch ID, A10 Fusion chip with M10 coprocessor. Prices from $329.

Storage: 32, 128 GB Colors: Silver, Space Gray, Gold

Tech specs Best covers

• • •

Apple iPad Air 3 - full info

Apple iPad Air 3, 10.5-inch

An ultra-thin design with A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and 10.5-inch advanced Retina display. Supports Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard (1st generation). Prices start from $499.

Storage: 64, 256 GB Colors: Silver, Space Gray, Gold

Tech specs Best cases

• • •

Apple iPad Pro 11, 2020 release - full info

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2020 release)

11-inch edge-to-edge 2388 × 1668 px Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, Magic Keyboard and Trackpad support, Ultra Wide camera, A12Z Bionic chip, LiDAR Scanner, and more. Prices from $799.

Storage: 128, 256, 512 GB, 1 TB Colors: Silver, Space Gray

Tech specs Best cases

• • •

Apple iPad Pro 12.9, 2020 release - full info

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020 release)

12.9-inch Liquid Retina 2732 × 2048 px LED-backlit Multi‑Touch display with ProMotion, Magic Keyboard and Trackpad support, Ultra Wide camera, A12Z Bionic chip, LiDAR Scanner, and more. Prices from $999.

Storage: 128, 256, 512 GB, 1 TB Colors: Silver, Space Gray

Tech specs Best cases

7. Inkitt

Inkitt - read indie authors on iPad iPhone

Our pick: The best app to discover and read books from indie authors

There are several, better or worse, iOS apps that give direct access to free ebooks. The only thing is that most of these books are from the public domain, which means they are classic titles.

If you prefer to read contemporary books for free and are ready to give a chance to indie authors, you should give a try to a dedicated app called Inkitt.

This free app has been already downloaded by over 700,000 users from around the world, and is the most popular free book app in 5 countries.

Once you download Inkitt to your iPad or iPhone, you get direct access to over 100,000 novels and stories from thousands of indie authors – at no extra cost. You would be surprised how many great books you can read without paying a penny.

Use a handy genre picker to narrow down search results to the topic you are most interested to explore. The app offers also personalized book recommendations based on your selected genres.

Inkitt is by far the best place I have posted work and I have already told some friends about it. I will be submitting more.

– Patrick, Inkitt author

Benefits: Enjoy novels and short stories from independent authors and help them get recognition they deserve
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Average rating: 4.6/5

⇢ Inkitt

8. QuickReader

QuickReader speed-reading app for iPad and iPhone

Our pick: The best speed-reading app for iPad and iPhone

Is improving reading comprehension and speed included in your personal development plan? Picking up a dedicated speed-reading app would help achieve this goal.

Some speed-reading apps, the ones that show one word or phrase at a time, may seem too extreme. Instead of getting involved, many users test using the one-word technique, get quickly disappointed, and never come back.

What if training your speed reading skills is optional and not so dramatically different? It’s what QuickReader is about.

On the basic level, QuickReader is a nicely designed book-reading app with many customization options and built-in access to thousands of public domain books from such repositories as Project Gutenberg or Internet Archive.

What I find particularly inviting is a customization of speed reading options and display. Besides setting the speed goal (300 words per minute is an average reading speed), you can personalize the look of the highlight box. Instead of the highlight, you can pick up outline, side bars, or long underline. You can also set your preferred highlight box color.

Each book can be read in two modes: Normal and Guided Reading. The latter one is a great way to gradually improve your reading speed. The technique used to control the speed is simple – a small part of the text is being highlighted and moves forward at the speed you set. With three taps you can skip speed reading mode and come back to normal mode.

The app provides also a simple speed reading test. It’s a good thing to check out before you set the speed goal.

Benefits: A well-designed book reader with optional speed reading trainer, built-in access to thousands of free ebooks, customization of speed reading options
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: $4.99

Average rating: 4.6/5

⇢ QuickReader

9. Leio

Leio organize reading life for iPad

Our pick: The best way to organize reading life and stay motivated

Some book-reading apps offer basic stats that measure your reading progress, how much time you need to finish a book, or what is your reading speed.

If you, however, want to learn more about your reading habits or to keep being motivated, you should pick up an app that’s much more advanced.

Try Leio. It’s like a Runkeeper app for book lovers. It’s focused on providing you extensive data on how you read books and how your reading evolves.

You can time your reading sessions, and they will be logged to a reading calendar so that you can see them in a longer time frame. With a Planner tool, you can set up how often you want to read each book, and the app will remind you to read if you want to stay on track.

An even more powerful tool lets you finish reading a book by a specific date. Simply, set up the deadline, and the app will tell you how long and how many pages you’ll need to read per day to finish before that date. As time flies, the app adjusts the reading plan.

Benefits: A powerful way to learn about your reading habits and keep motivated, advanced stats that show how your reading evolves, deadline reading tool
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free; $7.99 to unlock stats for unlimited books; subscriptions from $0.49 per month

Average rating: 4.7/5

⇢ Leio

10. Scribd

Scribd app - ebooks audiobooks subscription

Our pick: The best subscription-based book app for iPad and iPhone

Are you looking for an iOS app that would give you unlimited access to ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines for a monthly or yearly subscription? One app, not two or three?

You first choice would be Amazon Kindle app with Kindle Unlimited membership. The thing is that the app doesn’t have a built-in audiobook player. You’ll have to switch to Audible app for that.

Instead of switching between Kindle and Audible app (and, in fact, paying for two different subscriptions), switch once and for good to an all-in-one Scribd platform.

The Scribd app for iPad and iPhone gives unlimited access not only to ebooks and audiobooks but also popular magazines. There are over 1 million titles in the catalog, many are hot new releases and all-time bestsellers. Besides that, Scribd offers access to the world’s largest document library. There are over 60 million titles to choose from, including government reports, study guides, essays, or academic dissertations.

You can download the content to your iPad or iPhone, so that you can enjoy it without the internet connection. You can make notes, add bookmarks, or highlight text. The app’s interface and neat and user-friendly. You can customize fonts and themes.

Benefits: Enjoy ebooks, magazines, and audiobooks in one handy app
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free 30-day trial; in-app subscription for $8.99 per month; other plans available

Average rating: 4.7/5

⇢ Scribd

• • •

Recommendation box

Top iPad cases and accessories to get in 2020

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.

• • •

Zugu Muse iPad protective case - best iPad accessories 2020

Zugu Muse multi-functional iPad protective case

This is the best heavy-duty iPad case you can find on Amazon. It features multi-angle stand secured with strong magnetic structure. Military drop tested ( MIL STD 810G 516.6) to withstand 5-feet drops. Available for iPad mini 5, iPad 10.2, Air 3, and latest Pro models.

Average rating: 4.7/5

Amazon

• • •

Penoval high-precision iPad stylus - best iPad accessories 2020

Penoval high-precision iPad stylus with palm-rejection technology

A great alternative to Apple Pencil. Penoval stylus is using advanced technology for precise, natural, highly responsive writing and drawing with no delays. Works with all current iPad models.

Average rating: 4.4/5

Amazon

• • •

TiMOVO clear iPad case compatible with Smart Cover

TiMOVO clear iPad case compatible with Smart Cover

This is a perfect solution for anyone who already has an original Smart Cover but would like to protect the back of the iPad, as well. The case is made of crystal clear plastic that is elegant and non-slip. Available for iPad 10.2 and iPad mini 5.

Average rating: 4.5/5

Amazon

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Lamicall charging stand for iPad - best iPad accessories 2020

Lamicall adjustable charging stand for iPad

This sturdy foldable stand lets you charge the iPad thanks to adjustable base and a hole for a cable. The stand can be set at multiple angles, and features rubber pads for better stability.

Average rating: 4.7/5

Amazon

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