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.

  • Calibre's ebook reader has improved
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 17, 2016 at 9:43

8 Answers 8


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?

  • 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 15:22
  • Doesn't seem to work anymore :( May 7, 2015 at 4:38

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.

  • 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, 2011 at 5:13
  • 1
    Hey, ePubReader for FireFox seems to work well also. Bonus. I learned about two programs where I feared none existed.
    – user9290
    Aug 19, 2011 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. Aug 19, 2011 at 5:31
  • At least it can read the content, but the navigation seems to be broken May 7, 2015 at 4:40


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.

  • I'm using BookReader. It is really good and smooth with an iPad-y taste.
    – Chiron
    Nov 29, 2011 at 10:46

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.


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

  • 1
    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, 2012 at 5:31
  • Kitabu claims to work on OS X 10.6 or later but once installed, requires 10.9! May 7, 2015 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 http://ehonapp.com/en/index.php


Other alternatives:

E-Book Preview, http://macbookreader.com/wp/bookviewer (v.5.7 is the last full-featured free version) Bookreader Free, http://macbookreader.com/wp/ (there's also a paid version) Kitabu, www.kitabu.me Clearview, Canoe Software (App Store)

Stanza was freeware, copies are still lurking on the Internets.


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

  • The OP specifically excluded Calibre.
    – daviesgeek
    Feb 19, 2012 at 23:43