Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Adobe Digital Editions has some capabilities but is essentially an orphaned product with no support.

Stanza only displays text in ePub books, and again, is an orphaned product with no support.

Calibre is mostly for building e-books. It has a text-only ePub reader but it's even more primitive than Stanza for Mac.

Scrivener can compile and output ePub format, but I don't think it can display them for reading on your Mac.

There are various apps for iPad and iPhone, but I already know about them.

And let's not discuss DRM issues; what we all want is a reader that will let us display ePub books (without DRM, or perhaps certain forms of DRM), one that supports displaying significant formatting and graphics and photographs if present.

Is there anything out there at present other than what I've noted above?

Let's exclude Window, Linux, or anything that would require X11. I'm hoping somebody knows of a native Mac app, or something you can run in a Web browser.

share|improve this question
Calibre's ebook reader has improved – Mark Feb 17 at 9:43
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I haven't used it - so I can't say if it's any good - but I noticed that you didn't include the Barnes & Noble app in your list. Have you tried using that to view your ePub books?

share|improve this answer
YES! I was able to use this app on my Mac to read a free ePub from Apple Inc. (with no DRM) that I obtained from the iBook Store and copied off of my iPod touch to my Mac desktop. And it has a lot of formatting and graphics, and it looks fine. – user9290 Aug 19 '11 at 5:00
I'm surprised at how good the Barnes & Noble Nook for Mac reader is, considering that the Nook for iPhone is miserably bad! And yes, you need a Barnes & Noble log-in account to use it. I have one, and I believe it was free--at least I haven't bought any books. Once you get an account, you can then load non-DRM ePub documents from your Mac hard drive. I think this is a fine solution. – user9290 Aug 19 '11 at 15:22
Doesn't seem to work anymore :( – Dmitri Zaitsev May 7 '15 at 4:38


I can't vouch for this guy because I haven't bought it yet. But you might want to try this app store variant if your willing to spend a little money. Price is usually $10, but it appears to be on sale right now.

It supports 10.7 Lion, gestures, and appears to be well supported.

share|improve this answer
I'm using BookReader. It is really good and smooth with an iPad-y taste. – Chiron Nov 29 '11 at 10:46

Bookle is an option.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Ask Different! Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. – Daniel Feb 19 '12 at 23:14
Any features to justify the price of 10$? – Dmitri Zaitsev May 7 '15 at 4:20
@DmitriZaitsev Sorry, no idea. This topic died over 3 years ago, I suggest you look for more recent info. – Tom Gewecke May 7 '15 at 4:55

Ehon is intended to manage comic books and ePub and is available on the Mac App Store. (It used to be paid, now is free)

It seems a bit buggy though and to me, the Nook software might be a better choice.

share|improve this answer

RE: ".. Let's exclude Window, Linux, or anything that would require X11. I'm hoping somebody knows of a native Mac app, or something you can run in a Web browser."

Sorry, there are no native Mac epub readers that work any better than Stanza or Calibre (which, in my opinion, don't work very well at all as an actual "reader" app).

The best I can find is the Firefox extension, ePubReader (which works quite nicely, if you have Firefox installed).

Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer
Um, I just accepted glorifiedHacker's answer above, where he pointed me to Barnes & Noble Nook for Mac beta. It works great. – user9290 Aug 19 '11 at 5:13
Hey, ePubReader for FireFox seems to work well also. Bonus. I learned about two programs where I feared none existed. – user9290 Aug 19 '11 at 5:18
@ Wheat Williams, no problem. I have tried Barnes & Noble Nook for Mac, but I wasn't happy that they required me to create an account before I could even read any of my DRM free epub format books on my Mac, which is why I instantly discounted that app. – mrBitch Aug 19 '11 at 5:31
At least it can read the content, but the navigation seems to be broken – Dmitri Zaitsev May 7 '15 at 4:40

There is a new free epub reader available for OS X: Kitabu (free)

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer, zak! Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. Can you please add more information about the application you linked to? How does it answer the OP's question? – daviesgeek Jul 21 '12 at 5:31
Kitabu claims to work on OS X 10.6 or later but once installed, requires 10.9! – Dmitri Zaitsev May 7 '15 at 4:46

Maybe you can try the eBook reader, Ehon, which is a native Mac app but it is not free. You may download the trail version from

share|improve this answer

I'm using a free program called Calibre for Mac OS - works like a charm on Lion.

share|improve this answer
The OP specifically excluded Calibre. – daviesgeek Feb 19 '12 at 23:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.