Windows Creator’s Update, the next version of Microsoft’s operating system, will enable you to read EPUB books in Edge browser. If you can’t wait till then, use Freda, a free app for Windows 10 and 8.1.
EPUB is a popular file format for distributing both fiction and non-fiction ebooks, and it is widely used. The ebooks can be contain DRM (digital rights management copy protection) or they can be DRM-free (no protection, anyone can read them).
Microsoft Edge in the next Windows will allow you to read DRM-free books that you download from the internet and save to disk.
This will be most useful to people with laptops and especially laptop-tablet hybrids. If the screen can be detached and used like a tablet, you can read ebooks while sitting on the sofa, at night in bed, and so on.
Download free ebooks
There are many sources of ebooks and if you like classic books, a great place to get free ones from is Project Gutenberg.
A good way to find books is to click the Category link on the home page, scroll down to Pages in category “Bookshelf” and there is an A-Z list of categories. Click the one you want and browse the books and select one.
Books can be saved to online storage like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive by clicking the icons, or they can be downloaded and saved to disk by clicking a link. Choose the EPUB version.
Windows Creator’s Update will arrive next spring, but if you can’t wait till then to read your ebooks, there are apps available that can be used instead.
Freda ebook reader for Windows
Freda is a free app in the Windows Store, which means it can be installed by Windows 10 and 8.1 users. Just open the Store app and search for ‘Freda’.
There are two versions on offer. One is free and is supported by advertising and the other costs £1.49 and there are no ads. It’s your choice.
The Freda app has a list of sources and you can select Folder and browse the PC’s disk drive for ebooks. Selecting the Downloads folder enables you to load ebooks downloaded from the web for example.
You could save downloaded ebooks to the OneDrive folder and this would enable them to be accessed on any computer or device with OneDrive. An even better option is to allow the app to access OneDrive.
Books can then be loaded and the app can be synced with other copies of Freda on other Windows computers or devices.
Freda has direct access to the Project Gutenberg website and you can browse popular books, the latest books and so on, all from within the app. Books can then be downloaded and opened in the app.
There are a lot of configuration options in Freda and there are dark and light colour schemes, you can choose the font and the size. You can even set the line spacing and the word spacing.
The app colours and theme can be changed, and there are a zillion other options. This enables you to configure the most comfortable display for reading books.
Bookmarks can be created when reading a book and the current location is remembered. You can search for text in books, words, sentences and paragraphs can be highlighted in different colours, and text can be copied.
Books are displayed in the Bookshelf section and this shows large thumbnails of the books that have been loaded or small thumbnails and text. Filters enable you to find books by title or author.
Freda is a handy ebook reader for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, and the large number of configuration options means you can customise it to suit your reading preferences. It is recommended.
Verdict: A good ebook reader for Windows