ePub Reader Software For Cellphones & Tablets Compared.

Aldiko ebook reading app
FBReader app

For the longest time I have been using FBReader on my cellphone to read ePub formatted ebooks.  It was a fallback app I grabbed quickly when my Sony eReader died a couple of years ago, and I needed something to access all the books I’d had on the Sony.

The last laugh was on me:  The FBReader won’t open DRM protected books.   But in all other respects I like it very much indeed.  It handles text and flows it across the screen very nicely, and it rarely jams up.  I’d say it never jams or locks, because I can’t recall it ever doing so — but I’m hedging my bets.

I tripped over another app last week — Aldiko.  It’s also a free program, also handles ePub, and the thing that drew my attention is some small print that implies it can handle DRM protected books.  I haven’t been able to test this yet, as I can’t find my DRM books…they’ve been misfiled (or, gulp, deleted).

However, that may yet fail to be an issue.

Aldiko looks very pretty.  As you can see from the screen shot, it has great presentation, and the website where you download the app is very jazzy.


The software locked up on me at least six times while I was transferring my books over from FBReader, forcing a reboot.

I also had to go deep into the software settings in Calibre to get the two programs talking to each other nicely.

But…teething problems, I figured.  I’ve used Aldiko for just over a week…and I think I’m about to re-download FBReader and re-install it, and take the hit on my DRM protected books that I won’t be able to open (if I ever find them).


It’s a really tiny, but major reading speed bump:  Aldiko won’t display italics.

So, every time a character wants to get really intense or starts “Saying something with emphasis, goddam it!”  you lose that inflection.

Plus, I read paranormal romances, and one of the books I read this week had a character speaking to another character in their minds, and all the mental dialogue was in italics — or it should have been.  I kept tripping over what I thought were typos — missing dialogue tags — until I figured out it was speech that should be in italics to represent thought-speech.

It completely ruined the book.

I thought it might be an issue with books that I uploaded myself, so I tested it with a commercial ePub formatted copy of my books, as I know where the italics are supposed to be.  Still no-go.  The italics were still stripped out.

I’m ready to chuck in the towel and switch back again.

Anyone else have this problem?   Anyone have any thoughts for or against FB Reader?


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