Decent EPUB Reader for Macs

TidBITS introduces Bookle, an EPUB reader for OS X, developed by Peter Lewis and Adam C. Engst: "Rather than write an editorial about how Apple was slighting Mac users, I drafted a spec for a straightforward EPUB reader for the Mac. That, of course, was the easy part."


  1. The authors of the new app forgot about these OSX readers: Nook (if you can get it to run), Kindle (after converting to mobi with Calibre), and Adobe Digital Editions. All are free and provide a similar reading experience.

  2. By the way, Adam also says this interesting tidbit in the comments about the EPUB format and comparisons to PDF:

    There are some advantages to EPUB in general, largely relating to the fact that it’s a reflowable format that adapts (fairly) well to changes in window size, font size, and so on. Since PDF is a page-based format, there’s a limit to how well it can adapt to size changes. That’s why, for instance, we recommend our EPUBs to people who want to read on an iPhone, but PDF to people who read on an iPad. The PDF display is better and more intentional (since we do things like fix line lengths and page breaks), but it’s just too small on the iPhone.

  3. All of the above comments are about alternative readers, and Adam explains, in the very first paragraphs of his announcement, about why he didn’t just settle for those alternatives.

    tl;dr version: The existing software 1) has horrid bugs, 2) has terrible problems with display/usability, 3) does not at all look like anything else on his Mac.

    In particular, I have an unreasonable fantasy where Chuck Warnock begs for forgiveness for Adobe Reader. Adobe claims to have been a huge part of the digital typography revolution, yet they shipped something with black-on-black scroll bars made of plain rectangles, with error “codes” that make no sense to humans, written in unreadable fonts — I could go on and on.

    Of course, I cannot “borrow” eBooks from my local library  any other way. And if anything at all goes wrong, the book gets stuck in “limbo” for two weeks. I can’t read it, I can’t “return” it, nobody else can do anything to it. Not even the librarians.

    Quality. Thanks!

    On the other hand, paying actual cash money for software is something people just can’t seem to get used to. If you’re one of those people, well, sorry to hear it.

  4. Check out Tofu:
    Very neat little application for reading ebooks, publications, websites etc.

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