For years, I've been reading ebooks on my antique iPhone 4, using Calibre to painlessly send ebooks to it.

I have an iPad Air, and it just dawned on me (I guess I'm slow) that I oughtta be doing my reading on my iPad Air. Stanza's out of the question, obviously, but I like the effortless way Calibre maintains my vast library. I also like the ease with which Stanza works (though not the frequent crashes on the phone, obviously).

I'd be grateful if someone would recommend an eBook app which will continue to work with Calibre. I've tried over the years to replace Stanza with appalling results, and I'd rather not go through the agony of buying eBook readers only to throw my money away on disappointments (or worse, apps which make me rage). I'm a disabled vet and can't afford to go experimenting in things I can't use.

If you can tell me which app will work for me right out of the gate, I'll be a happy girl. These are my requirements:

  1. Lets Calibre maintain my library and add books to/remove books from my eBook app's library;

  2. Allows me to read ebooks easily.

  3. (Optional) Allows to me change size and typeface of text easily, although this is an option I really, really want.

  • Stanza doesn't crash that often for me - just don't load pdfs as that needs a reinstall to get out of the crash loop
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 6, 2015 at 20:54
  • I still use stanza by choice on my air2 having tried every reader I could find (it never crashes). I also sometimes use Bluefire Reader and Kobo. I always use iTunes Sharing to copy in epubs.
    – amergin
    Jul 6, 2015 at 23:13
  • Since Stanza isn't in the App Store, how do you get it onto your iPad? Jul 7, 2015 at 15:48
  • @Binky restore from a backup version of the .ipa file
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


MegaReader will do all that you've asked for here. It's not free, but it's not very expensive. It's what I replaced Stanza with on my own iPhone.

  • Ah. Perhaps I need to clarify? The books I want to read are ones I acquired myself. I don't want a reader that searches through dreck (public domain books, free/cheap books people have written, etc). I have a lotta best-sellers and other books I've bought from Amazon as well as acquired from other places. I don't think I have one single book I've acquired via the "Seatch through millions of book" apps. I just want a Stanza-like app. I appreciate your taking the time to respond, though! Jul 6, 2015 at 21:10
  • No, MegaReader lets you read your own books as well, and interfaces with Calibre (though you might need to use Calibre2ODPS). You can just ignore the built-in libraries of free books.
    – Mike Scott
    Jul 7, 2015 at 5:35
  • 1
    I was really hoping to receive a flurry of messages with a consensus about one single reader. I gather there isn't one like there was with Stanza. Nuts. Getting itchy to read on my iPad and was hoping I'd be able to start today knowing in which direction to turn already. I guess I'll look at Marvin and MegaReader. Thanks for the input. Jul 7, 2015 at 15:53
  • Argh; it hasn't been updated in just over a year. I hope it hasn't been abandoned by the developer. That'd be just my luck, to invest in an app only to discover it's dead now, and Stanza-fied. Crossing my fingers. I spouse it oughtta continue to work until an OS update kills it, though. Jul 7, 2015 at 15:59
  • I downloaded MegaReader and like it very much so far. I haven't found a typeface that makes me go "YES! This feels poifekt!" on the iPad yet, but I'll warm up to something. But I'm happily reading, and it feels good. Thanks for the tip! Jul 8, 2015 at 18:04

I think I will use Marvin (there is a trial free version) when I can't restore Stanza from the backup. (I recently had to reset my phone and reinstalled Stanza even though it is not in the AppStore any more) I did try Marvin as my reader but went back to Stanza

Marvin used to have a direct interface to Calibre via a plugin see support forum which allowed direct control in calibre of what is on the iPhone.
Marvin also can load books over OPDS as does Stanza

It is more configurable than Stanza and so can be made to work in a similar way - except the font setting is per book and not global. Also Marvin page refreshes can be seen, Stanza just does the refresh all at once

I have now upgraded to a new phone and Stanza still works but only shows the old screen size, it still works better but the extra size means I have moved to Marvin and reverted back Stanza gets the width OK but not all the height but is just much better.
And IOS 10 has killed Stanza the next page function now does to the start of the next chapter :(

  • Yikes. Marvin is very badly-reviewed in the App Store. It sounds good in theory, but people sure don't seem to like it. I have no problem with setting the typeface per book; that's cool. But those people sure are unhappy with it. Jul 6, 2015 at 21:15
  • @Binky I took reviews from MobileRead - and also tried other readers. and AppSore reviews for free are too few to make a view and for full version 67 are 5 start and there are 7 3 or less
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 6, 2015 at 21:25
  • 1
    imho, Marvin became the best replacement. I held onto Stanza until I got a 5S, then got irritated by it not being able to fit the new screen width. When Stanza first went unsupported I set up a Facebook Group, 'Revive Stanza for iOS 5' [which gives you an idea of its age.] It's gone quiet now, but if anyone wants to see the long arguments over features etc, have a look at the back-history. One of the contributors is the chap who now makes the Marvin/iOS connectivity plugins (& I just remembered, Marvin's author too). facebook.com/groups/230548790339245 if anyone wants to look
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 7, 2015 at 5:41

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