So, did you treat yourself to a Black Friday tablet deal? Wondering what options to go for to read e-books on your new buy? Here are a few recommendations and favorites.

If your Black Friday deal choice was Amazon’s new 7″ Kindle Fire, down from its already bargain RRP of $49.99 to $35, then honestly you don’t need to look further than the Kindle app itself for your basic e-reading needs. Not only does this have the Kindle Store, with full access to Amazon’s e-book emporium, it can also download most of the free out-of-copyright content available via Project Gutenberg and similar archives. Where free works aren’t available through the Kindle Store itself, they and other e-books, free or paid, can be sideloaded onto the device – including its microSD expansion card. The Kindle app does have issues incorporating these in its library, but the books themselves are still readable. And most e-book vendors outside the Amazon ecosystem now offer a MOBI file option for Kindle anyway.

If you want to go further than the Kindle app, though, there are a host of e-reading apps that will also run on the 7″ Fire. Above all, these offer use of the EPUB file standard, and wider access to e-books outside Amazon, including those downloadable through the OPDS archive network. Popular app choices include Moon+ Reader Pro, Mantano Reader, Aldiko and FBReader. These aren’t available on the Amazon Appstore, but there are many methods for installing them on the Fire, with or without adding the Google Play Store as well. With the Google Play Store installed, pretty much any e-reading app for Android should be accessible, and usable, on your Fire. Ditto for the other Fire tablets, in case you were tempted by them.

And other Black Friday Android tablets besides the cheapo Fire? There are plenty out there. The same recommended e-reader options listed above will run on them too, of course – as will the Kindle app for Android. But one point you might like to consider: Not every e-reading app can access your device’s external microSD memory. Mantano Reader (Lite or Pro) is one of the favorites that can. So, if you’re concerned that you new tablet’s internal memory is too small, or simply want all your e-books in one place, shoot for an app that can read the microSD card.

That’s a quick and dirty post-Black Friday roundup of your e-reading app choices for tablets. For iPads, smartphones, and original e-ink Kindles and similar readers, we hope to follow up later. Meantime, Amazon is already advertising Cyber Monday deals, so you may want to keep these issues in mind for any further buying choices.


  1. Of course, most people who took advantage of the Black Friday Fire tablet special won’t have their tablets until early-to-mid-December. (For example, December 14, in the case of my parents.) But they can always look back at this article later, I expect!

  2. I ordered my Fire tablet a few minutes after midnight, so I’m expecting it in a few days. I’ll probably be looking up a few of your articles then. At the very least, I plan on sideloading FBReader. I’ve been used it for years on my Polaroid, and I’m not really interesting in relearning another reader if I can avoid it.

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