Selecting a Book Reading App for iPad


Selecting a Book Reading App for iPad
Written by Heather Graham

Just because Apple stuck iBooks on your new iPad doesn’t mean you have to use it. There are plenty of free reading apps for iPad. Nook and Kindle can help you break free from conformity and save money on eBooks.

Of course, other devices were less expensive, but you probably wanted the shiny Rolex of tablets. Too late, you found out that, according to The Verge, most iPad competitors look just like the iPad; this doesn’t mean high-dollar purchases have to continue. Rid yourself of guilt with a free reading app. No one will know but you.

You Can Read On Any Type of Computer

With a reading app made by just about anyone other than Apple, you can read you eBooks on your PC laptop or desktop. For example, with the Nook app, you can bookmark the last page you read on your iPad, and the Nook cloud will sync all your devices.

If you decided to save money and buy an Android cellphone instead of an iPhone, you can read your eBook by downloading the appropriate free reading app to it.  Because of digital rights management, it would be difficult to do that with an eBook you bought on iBooks.

The Majors

So which reading app is best for iPad? That depends whether you already have eBooks from Nook, Kobo or Kindle. The best thing you can do is download all three. They don’t take up much memory space.

You also will find more free eBooks on bookseller websites, such as Kobo’s, than you would on iBook.

One drawback to using one of these third-party apps is you might have to go to the respective website to buy eBooks.

Apple wants you to use iBooks, but you can rebel and use a website. Exporting an eBook from one app to another can be done, according to Anick Jesanun on the San Joes Mercury News.

Obviously, every eReader app developer would prefer you use their app. There are advantages to sticking with the big boys, though: both Nook and Kindle have them, so you can earn extra cash back when purchasing eBooks.

Discover Card also has periodic bonuses for Amazon and regular deals for Nook eBooks.


To help your eBook reading app work with more books on the iPad, you should authorize the iPad with an Adobe ID, according to Piotr Kowalczyk of

•    Using a browser extension such as Hola can allow you to watch Canadian TV shows on your iPad while in the United States. You can use the same idea to purchase eBooks for less, according to Kowalczyk.
•    Kobo is a little clunkier than the Nook or Kindle apps when it comes to sharing eBooks across devices. The Dropbox app is one way around this, according to Kowalczyk. Cloud services are the future, after all.
•    Overdrive is a great app for downloading books from your local public library. It’s much easier for this purpose than other apps. One trick for audio books is to transfer the files in the WMA format on your PC to iPad, according to LibGuides.
•    On the iPad, the iTunes will create an eBook playlist because of the WMA format; otherwise, you’ll probably end up with a music playlist for your copy of the latest George R.R. Martin eBook. Apparently, Jon Snow is not known for his singing abilities, dead or alive, according to CNN.

When dealing with library books, save yourself a lot of frustration and use Overdrive first and remember the library books are free.

How to Back Up eBooks

Clouds come to the rescue again. You will have to connect the iPad a computer or an external storage device to export the eBooks. After you get the files to the target, you can transfer the files to the respective eReader app’s cloud or to a separate one such as Dropbox.

With this backup, you can more easily share eBooks across your devices and still have them if you lose your expensive iPad. Because of DRM, it will be difficult to read the eBooks on reading apps other than the one your bought them one, according to Kowalczyk. So no, you can’t read Kindle books on the Nook app without some major hacking.

Comparison Shopping

Having three or more reading apps on one iPad may be a little cumbersome, but book vendors do not always have the same price for the same book.

There can be a $3 difference in price among Kindle, iBooks and Nook on any given book.

With multiple readers, you have the flexibility to buy the eBook at the lowest price while reading it on the same iPad, regardless of the app you choose.

There are eBook price search engines on the Internet that can save you the time of opening each reading app to compare the price of the newest Suzanne Collins eBook. Inkmesh is a simple one, according to Jason Gilbert of the Huffington Post.


Author: Heather Graham

Heather is an experienced and successful web developer, mobile and gadget geek, from Austin, TX.


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One Response to “Selecting a Book Reading App for iPad”

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