Here are the best reading apps for Mac

Here are the best reading apps for Mac

Apple revealed some new Macs during its “Unleashed” virtual event last month. If you have bought the latest MacBook Pro 2021, it’s important to keep it protected by using a case. Regardless of the model you have, though, Apple computers are great devices to do your readings on. They have crisp clear displays, long battery lives, and simple user interfaces. Here are the best reading apps for Mac.

Best reading apps for Mac

Apple Books

Apple Books macOS

Apple Books is my favorite reading app for Mac. It’s always updated with the latest design changes introduced in new macOS versions, so it doesn’t look out of date. Formerly called iBooks, this app supports importing PDFs, EPUBs, and other eBook formats. So even if you’re not buying a book from the app itself, you can still use it to view and interact with books you’ve downloaded from other sources.


iCloud sync is one of the reasons I really love this app. When I’m reading on the metro, my progress is always uploaded to the cloud and reflected on my Mac. So when I get back home, I can resume reading on macOS right where I stopped on iOS. The synced data only consumes a few kilobytes, so it won’t fill up your iCloud storage quota.

Apart from reading, the Books app allows readers to highlight parts, add notes, bookmark pages, and more. And all of these features are free to use, so you neither have to buy the app nor subscribe to a monthly service. Apple Books offers a wide catalog of free and paid books from both famous and lesser known writers. You can browse based on genres, price tags, and more.

The Apple Books app is available on all Macs by default, so you don’t have to download it yourself. You can find it through Launcher or Spotlight Search.

Amazon Kindle

kindle on macos

If you tend to buy your digital books from Amazon, this app is for you. The Kindle app allows you to read all of your Amazon eBook purchases in one place. It also supports accessing your local eBook library, so you can read digital books downloaded from other sources, all in one place.

Kindle allows some customizations when it comes to the font type and size, line spacing, text alignment and more. You can also highlight, take notes, use split-view, utilize text-to-speech. It’s a feature-rich app that is both free and simple to use. And thanks to Whispersync, you can resuming reading wherever you pause on any device with the Kindle app installed.

    Amazon Kindle is the home of all of your Amazon digital book purchases. It also supports certain customizations that ensure you're comfortable when reading.

Readdle PDF Expert

Readdle PDF Expert

PDF Expert is one of the best PDF reader apps for Mac. It’s particularly special and useful because it allows you to easily edit PDF text, images, links, and outlines. Fixing a typo or changing a logo in a contract, or updating your CV is now a matter of a few seconds, thanks to their advanced editor.

Apart from reading PDFs, this reader allows you to merge documents, annotate, highlight, sign, and more. And thanks to Readdle Transfer features, you can seamlessly switch devices in the middle of a document. It works across macOS, iPadOS, and iOS, so you can work on your Mac for the most part and use your iPad or iPhone to take advantage of touch controls when you want to sign a document, for example.

This app costs $79.99 in the US, and it’s PDF-focused only. So if you’re looking for an EPUB reader, this one is not for you.

    Readdle PDF Expert is an excellent PDF reader and editor that provides powerful tools which allow you to easily and conveniently edit PDF documents.

Sun Min MarginNote

MarginNote on macOS

MarginNote is a capable PDF and EPUB reader that is aimed at students. This app comes with plenty of utilities to make studying and memorizing content from digital books easier. Apart from the usual highlighting, note-taking, and bookmarking features most reader programs have, this app includes some unique additions.

This app has a text-recognition (OCR) and video editing engines, allowing you to deal with notes and videos in one place. It also features a research browser on the side, which lets you look up a certain keyword without leaving the document you’re studying. You can create mind-maps, mirror cards, link to notes, and more to connect your thoughts and better remember the content.

MarginNote also supports flashcards and smart reminders that help you learn from your mistakes based on how often you commit them. An algorithm calculates how long it should take you to memorize something and suggests different timings for different difficulty levels.

This reading app is free to download from the Mac App Store, but it includes in-app purchases to unlock all features and take advantage of its functionality.

    MarginNote is a powerful reading software aimed at students. It incudes features that help users memorize content and connect their ideas. It's free to download but includes in-app purchases.

 Adobe Digital Editions

adobe digital editions macOS

The popular eReader form Adobe has a lot to offer. Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) supports syncing between devices that have the software installed on. So if you add or remove a book from your Mac, expect that to be reflected on the rest of your devices. This powerful tool allows users to do keyword searches that cover all chapters of a certain text, so finding the needle in a haystack is no longer a biggie.

Do you have a public library card? If yes, then you might be in luck. ADE supports certain online public libraries, so once you provide the requested information, you can start borrowing digital books. You can even print the eBooks you store on ADE, unless the publishers block this feature.

Just like Apple Books, Adobe Digital Editions supports highlighting, bookmarking, adding notes and shelves, in addition to VoiceOver accessibility controls. It supports multiple file formates, such as EPUB, EPUB3, and PDF. You can even modify the text and document size on certain formats.

    Adobe Digital Editions offers plenty of features for free. It allows users to highlight, take notes, bookmark, edit text, and more.

Personally, I prefer using Apple Books when it comes to reading eBooks. The app is free, available by default on all of my Apple devices, and offers the right amount of functionality. It also includes a Reading Goals feature, which encourages me to read every day for a certain amount of time. Ultimately, people’s needs and tastes differ, so you might find yourself liking another app better.

Which reader app do you use on your Mac? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.