Now that Amazon has sunk the usability flagship among e-readers, Stanza, I am looking for a replacement but it turns out to be very difficult. It seems every app praises itself beyond reason. Every forum peddles whatever app has their fancy. How can I find a good e-reader app without installing and testing them all? Many aren't free and it would be silly to pay for many of them, only to find them all lacking.

My requirements, roughly in order, are the following. Basically, this is what made Stanza so amazing to use.

  1. In-app download from sources such as Feedbooks. (This is what's now broken in Stanza, and won't ever get fixed because Amazon doesn't care. This is the reason I'm looking for alternatives.)
  2. Easy to search for and download free books.
  3. Configurable font size, font color, and background color.
  4. Configurable font size, font color, and background color - in night mode.
  5. Configurable without having to dig deep into settings.
  6. Easy to select a book from the library.
  • 2
    The main thing I want is "lets me choose to override the justification setting and choose left-justified rather than fully-justified." Fully-justified text looks awful on an iPhone.
    – user9290
    Apr 5, 2012 at 16:58
  • @WheatWilliams: But even iBook can do left-aligned...? Other than that, it's a typical Apple app -- too much noob screen candy, too few actual features. Apr 5, 2012 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Long overdue answer to this one…

Simple answer - Marvin (paid & free versions) plus Calibre (free, donationware) for format changing, editing etc & plugins by Wulf Krueger (again free, donationware) (iOS Reader applications & Marvin XD) for simple transmission to iPhone rather than having to use iTunes.

Join my Facebook group Revive Stanza for iOS 5 & check the back history. Wolf Krueger was very active in the early days, when there was a lot of discussion as to what might be the ideal replacement for Stanza. It's gone very quiet over the past year or so, as it became more & more apparent there was going to be no further move on Stanza, so it's an archive rather than an active group any more.

There are, of course, as many book reader apps as there are book readers, so I'm certain there are more opinions on which is best than anyone could reasonably wade through.

The group, btw, isn't trying to sell anything, or even force everybody to adopt the same new app & all opinions are the responsibility of the poster; it was just a meeting place for many people stuck in the same situation when Stanza went away.

  • Marvin is probably the best but still not up to Stanza e.g. Stanza allows a global setting of fonts whilst Marvin needs to set for each book
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 3, 2015 at 12:47
  • True indeed - one of my only gripes about it, tbh. I had a book recently I couldn't override the fonts properly & ended up back in Stanza for it. It still seems to work in iOS 8 even, but can't fill an iPhone 5 screen properly, let alone a 6, should i ever get one, but I still do keep it in reserve.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 3, 2015 at 12:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .