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Book Reader for BlackBerry PlayBook is Best ePub eBook Reader Yet

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In case you have not noticed yet I have been hunting for a solid ePub eBook reader for my PlayBook. We have covered quite a few of them as alternatives to the closed Kobo reader but so far many of them have been found wanting. That was until I found Book Reader by Untangled Development. While not perfect Book Reader is pretty darn good and has grown out of the bugs in its original version. The app opens and manages your DRM free ePub eBooks. eBooks are imported and copied into the library when you first open them for faster loading.

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Another big plus for Book Reader is that it is selling for a very reasonable $0.99 in App World. Check it out and let us know what you think!

77 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. just installed…. thx for the tip.
    great application, but why is there such a small Preferences Icon to select Font etc ?
    Should be the simple swipe down from top bezel.

  2. How does this compare to the other epub readers for the PlayBook? I have been looking for one that will allow me to copy books in and has a simple clean interface. I haven’t purchased one yet and don’t want to until I find one that looks worthwhile.

  3. What exactly do you like about it?

  4. Does it handle books converted with Calibre well?

  5. Downloading mines now 🙂 and see if i can agree with Ronen 🙂

  6. I wish I had seen this article earlier :(. I downloaded Epub reader a couple days before reading this and it sounds like this has just as much functionality at half the price. Oh well, at least the epub reader is a good program too for what it’s worth.

  7. Hi,
    I’m the developer behind Book Reader application. Thank you so much for the positive review and don’t hesitate to send me any questions, complaints or suggestions at [email protected].

    The main difference in my opinion between this reader and others is that Book Reader is trying to preserve original book formatting and layout as much as possible.

    Books converted/created by Calibre are fully supported. Had a minor issue with Calibre messing with default font/margin settings, but managed to resolve it in v.1.0.8.

    Also I’d like to point out that Book Reader also supports Amazon Kindle book formats including older PalmDoc books (AZW, MOBI, PRC and PDB files)

    I could add support for other formats such as FB2 or LIT for example, but it would be nice to know if there is a demand for it.

    • Lit format capability would be great. A lot of people still have extensive libraries in that format. Calibre does not handle converts all that well and an additional step.

    • I wonder if I could use your app to read books from the local library, city of toronto library loans ebook with drm enabled, is your app compatible with such drm enabled books.

      Please let me know. I will purchase this if i can read drm enabled books from local libraries.

      Thank you in advance

    • I am importing .epub files to my playbook into Book Reader, the issue is it only imports the first two pages. These files work fine on my Kobo. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi,
      i don’t know which kind of chm and pdb files it’s supposed to open. I’ve tried to import some of the pdb files I used to read with iSilo in my old palm but an error always shows up

  8. Ok Ive been fairly disappointed that 1) there hasnt been a kindle app released for pb And 2) trying to use kobo since it wont take my payment information. Im not exactly a computer whiz(i think my elderly parents techno fear is contagious) But Ive figured there would be some smart guy that would make a work around so that i could take books ive purchased with my pc via the kindle app and put them on my pb. that is what this ereader sounds like. would someone be so kind as to give me a step by step on how to do this beginning with purchase of app. remember im fairly ignorant to abreviations for tech terms. thankyou very much

  9. Hi untangleddev,

    I have been reading good reviews about app. Congratulations for your superb work. I am a developer myself.
    I have a suggestion to make, wont it be a good idea to sell your limited feature app for free?
    All best things in life are for free.

    Please let me know your views on this.

    • Hi Pavan,
      I’ve figured out that $0.99 is not much to ask and it’s really hard
      to limit the functionality in the book reading application.
      And nothing is really free in this life… 🙂

  10. is this book reader a independent software need to download ?
    what’s ebook format it supports?

  11. Fantastic and only for £0.99! Really smooth and easy to use. It was straight forward getting .mobi and .ePub books loaded into the App.

    Getting used to the page swipe was a little tricky compared to Kobo that I was used to, but after a few moments I worked it out.

    Suggestion for improvement: Being able to get to a selectable Table of Contents from the Pull Down menu to allow jumping around the book.

    Thxs again and keep up the work – great App!

    • Hi Dusty,
      Actually this functionality is already there. Please try to tap on the book
      title at the top to see if Table of Content will be displayed and tap at the chapter
      name/page number at the bottom to see if you could advance via page
      slider. Please let me know if you are still unable to navigate through
      the book


      • Thxs for reply to let me know the content listing & chapter index is available by touching the book title at the top of the page.

        This works and is very handy for getting around long books.

        Again, fabulous app, easy to use, reads all the formats I want and all for £0.99!


  12. Ok, I need help. I have downloaded this app. When I open the app, I see the files that I can access- bookmarks, books, etc. Under documents I open the file and see my epub books. I click on the book that I want, it hi-lites and then nothing happens. Everywhere I see it say’s that this is a great app but I am really getting frustrated. Anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

    • Hi Bernie,
      The reader allows you to select one or multiple or all books before importing them into the internal repository. Select your books and tap on the top right “+” button. This will start import process and you should be able to start reading those books when process will finish.

      Please let me know if you still have any problem opening your books – I’m would be more then happy to answer your questions via e-mail. If you would see an error message please provide complete error text.

  13. This is a great book reader but i have one question. I have copied multiple epub books to the book folder but I can only import one book at a time. I can’t seem to select multiple books before tapping on import. I have tried using the check button but it does not seem to work. Any hints would be appreciated.


    • Hi John,
      Could you please send me an e-mail with detailed problem description and I’ll try to help you out.

      • Igor, I have imported all of the books one at a time and the reader is working great. Thank you for the app.

        How can I stop all of the follow comments from being emails to me.


  14. Would this also work for books in .pdf format?

  15. Great application. I bought it yesterday (I got my PB on Monday). It works fine – well formatted, fast, easy to import ebooks, etc. As John wrote, it would be a good idea to import several books at the time, but this is not the most important. Excellent Job, Igor. I appreciate this app.


    • Thank you Mike and Wayne.

      Bulk import function is already there. You could select multiple books by tapping on them or try to press the middle “Select all” button in the top right corner of the screen.
      Please let me know via e-mail if you have any problem with it.


  16. I would happily pay 10 bucks for a version of the app that lets me import DRM protected books that I have already bought elsewhere but now have no way of reading on my Playbook because Kobo won’t let me import them-any chance of a higher price version of the app that I can buy to do that?

    • Hi,
      I did my best to implement support for Adobe’s DRM in my application, but the yearly license for the official SDK from Adobe would be cost prohibitive for me – I don’t think that a lot of customers will agree to pay $10-15 for the application. That leaves my customers with the only option to remove DRM from books manually, if they would want to use the reader for legally purchased books.


      • I would be OK with removing the DRM protection-how do you do it?

        • I’m not sure that I’m allowed to post direct links here.
          Google for apprenticealf and you should see it as a first result.


          • Thank you, thank you thank you-I have pestered Blackberry sites, Kobo, Adobe and looked everywhere for an App that lets me read my books I already have on my Playbook.

            Finally I can thanks to your App, your advice and apprenticealf

            Much kudos and good luck with everyting

  17. does it support chinese?

  18. Can you select multiple titles to delete? So far it seems that I can delete the titles individually.



  19. Are there any plans to add hyphenation and narrow borders?
    Otherwise great app, thanks a lot for it!

    • Borders will be configurable in the next release.
      Hyphenations – I have an idea how it could be implemented, but will have to wait for now.


  20. Worked AWESOME !!!

  21. Hi — is the developer listening to this thread?

    I find page turning to be very difficult and uneven. For example, many times I will swipe and no page turn occurs. Other times I swipe and the application goes into the multitasking list.

    It seems like it takes a second or two once a page appears before I can turn a page. Therefore, combined with the unevenness of the swipe, it is very difficult to use.

    Would it be possible to make it easier to swipe through pages? For example, make swipes register immediately on a new page(even if it takes extra time for the next page to appear), and be more liberal with what counts as a page turn?



    • Hi Darren,
      Page turning gesture is a tap, not swipe. Tapping area for the page turns is somewhat narrow now – it’s about 1cm on each side. As long as you’ll tap within this area, page should turn. In the next 1-2 releases this tapping area will become wider. I’m planning to split the screen layout into the 3 equal sized panes (~33/% each) with left/right panes controlling page turns and the middle one would be responsible for various service functions (ToC, page navigation, etc).


      • Adobe for Playbook has also a narrow tapping area and I didn’t see somebody complain. Your reader is a great product.
        When you do what you plan (3 panes), it will be even better.
        Thanks for your great product and a great support.

  22. HI – I have purchase the Book Reader app and am very satisfied. The one gripe I have is that when I am reading a book it will only show the page numbers seems to only be for that chapter and not for the whole book. (For instance in a 350 page book it will say 15 of 30 then start over when I get to the next chapter). Is there a way to show the page numbers for the whole book?

    • Hi AMG,
      Continuous page numbering is a tricky one because EPUB book usually contains multiple files in it and in order to display total number of pages I would need to open every one of them when reader performs pagination (font /margin/orientation changes), which could really degrade the performance. I’ll implement it if I’ll be able to find the right way of doing it. Currently reader displays only total number of pages within the current chapter, which for the cover page would be 1 of 1.


  23. Hello I just bought your product and I like the idea it seems to look good however when I import I only get page 1 and page 2 which is only the cover and I’m not sure how to import further book alert for the pages. Could you advise me on how to get the full book and I’m putting it in the folder called books or documents either one seems to not work.

    • Gary,
      Are you sure you didn’t import the whole book?If you see “pages 1 of 2”, it is probably the paging for the first chapter only. The rest of the book should be there, too. Igor (untangleddev), already explained that the paging is quite tricky. Check the rest of the book.
      However, if only the two first pages were imported, you should check the way you import it. I already had some similar troubles with my dedicated e-reader, but it was related to the conversion process in Calibre (the application I use on my PC to manage and convert the e-books).
      How do you convert or send the books to your Playbook?

  24. I haven’t bought the App but after reading so many positive comments, there is no way I will not buy it. It is even exciting to read all the good comments! Congratulations to Igor and keep up your great work which benefits us all.

  25. Hi,

    I’m using your App right now and am very satisfied.
    Just a quick question. Is there any function for seeing currently reading book titles? (ie. if I have 100 books and am reading 2-3 books, can I see them on separate page rather then going through the entire book list?) Kobo has this function and I find it quite useful.

  26. Hi
    I purchased book reader and downloaded it and installed. It shows in my world as being installed on the playbook but there is nowhere on playbook to actually start the program. Am i missing something. Just got my playbook today.

  27. There should be an icon on the playbook for the reader.

  28. No icon on playbook that is my problem as it says that it is installed and shows in my apps as being installed.

  29. I bought this app and can’t get it to open ePub files converted from PDFs. I get an error message. It’s error #1010. Any chance of PDF – reading capability in a future update? Or can I resolve this bug?

    • Hi Mike,
      Some PDF converters are better then others. Error means that some mandatory information is missing in the EPUB. Have you tried the Calibre? Generally it works Ok for PDF conversion and it’s free.
      You could always send me the failed file via e-mail and I’ll take a look.


      Untangled Development

  30. Happy New Year!!

    I just installed the book reader but am a total noob at my playbook. I wanted to try it with the two books that came with the Kobo app. How do I open these with the book reader? It didn’t find them in the file search area.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    • untangleddev,
      Could you tell me if your app will allow me to read ePub books downloaded from the library within the 21 days “loan” period?

      • Hi Mike,
        All library books are protected by DRM controls – book content is encrypted.
        I believe, only Overdrive is licensed to open library books, but they don’t
        have OverDrive Media Console application for the PlayBook yet.If you want to
        read those books on your device, then you would need to download library books
        and manually remove DRM encryption from them before Book Reader will be able to
        open such books.


        Untangled Development

        • Thanks, Igor, for your quick response.

        • hi, can you tell me how to remove manually DRM protection?
          Also I have some books for mobipocket (.mobi and .prc format) and I’m unable to open them. For example for a dictionary I can see only the first page that’s all.

          • For obvious reasons, removing DRM is illegal so nobody will tell you exactly how to do it. However, I consider as an honest practice to remove the DRMs from the books somebody bought and wants to read on other device than the one the book was downloaded to or his device broke and cannot read anymore.
            If you want to know more, Google for Apprentice Alf’s blog.
            If you have DRM free books, you can convert them from one format to another (e.g. from MOBI to ePub) by using a program called Calibre.

    • Hi Larry,
      You would need to re-download those books from Kobo’s web site first.
      Please also be aware that some Kobo’s books could be protected by proprietary DRM encryption and Book Reader will not be able to open such


      Untangled Development

  31. i love this reader, i finally have an epub on my playbook in a format easy to read, i turn up the font size about 120 percent and use the sepia background, way to go! Thank you for the excellent work, thank you for the great bargain. i look forward to using it more and will keep an eye out for any updates.

  32. Wow, this is a great app. I can finally open epub files, and read them on a great looking interface. There is a ton of options for viewing, and the app is quite intuitive. The page numbering issue is a small drawback, but you can easily move through chapters by swiping the bottom centimeter of the screen. As a matter of fact, the bottom of each page will tell you the number of the chapter you’re in, and the respective number of that page within that chapter – works for me.
    Awesome job to the creator, and I’m looking forward to the updates!

  33. not sure how to import books from laptop to playbooks. where do i drag files to? i could use a step by step proceedure.

  34. Hi untangleddev,
    I have the book reader. However the delete button for imported books isn’t working. Even when I deleted the files from the books folder, the book thumbnails still shows in the list and its annoying as I have a whole list of books thumbnails in my list. How can I remove the deleted books icon from showing in my ebook reader library.

    • Hi Sylax,
      I have not seen such issue before. It could mean that for some reason book files are locked by the OS and the reader could not delete them. Could you please try to restart your PlayBook and delete those books again?

      Untangled Development

  35. First off, I am extremely grateful for your application. It really helps me in my studies.

    I just download its two updates today. 3.0 & 3.1, which I had to comment on as I have never downloaded two updates for the same application in one day. That just tells me how much care you put into your application.

    Again, I am extremely grateful.

    I haven’t had a chance to fire it up since the 3.1 update, so this may be a feature you already added in and I just don’t know.

    But, I would like it if highlighting was easier, preferably in the press & hold menu and then being able to select what you want highlighted.

    Adding what I want highlighted as a bookmark and going through that process becomes becomes kind of a hassle, at least On my end.

    That is the only thing I have found that needs some (in my opinion) improvement in using your fine application. Everything else works to perfection.

    Thank you again.

  36. Getting a 1090 error during import. Been trying find a PDF to EPUB converter but not finding anybody that does it right and work with the BookReader. (particularily getting TOC goto links to work right).

    I have gotten a couple eBooks/EPUB from Adobe that work really well except when coming to picture/illustrations (can’t read them – make out what is there). This does not have a zoom feature (which is not a real problem with text), but it would be nice to be able to enlarge images (eg, tap on them to go to an enlarged view).

    Otherwise BookReader is fairly nicely featured.

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