EPUB, which stands for Electronic Publication is an open ebook standard. It offers features such as css styling, word wrap or vector images, and its files – the ebooks – have the extension epub. A lot of ebook related sites on the Internet offer their books in epub format. The format is especially popular on sites that provide access to free ebooks.
The Firefox web browser does not support the EPUB format by default, which means that you can only download the file to your local computer system if the website is not providing access to an online EPUB reader.
The Firefox add-on EPUBReader changes this by adding support for the EPUB format to Firefox. It basically means that you can read epub ebooks online in the web browser. Not every user may need that functionality, especially users with ebook readers may prefer to read EPUB books on those readers instead.
EPUB Reader highjacks the download process of EPUB files on the system. It decompresses the files, processes them and makes them available in a readable format in a new browser tab.
EPUB ebooks are divided into two columns on that page. The left column displays the index of the ebook, the right the contents and some controls at the bottom.
Controls include text formatting options to increase or decrease the font size, navigate pages, access a library of locally stored ebooks or free online libraries or saving bookmarks to continue reading at the position at a later point in time.
The library navigator is pretty handy. It currently supports ebooks on feedbooks and archive.org. You can use the search to find a specific ebook on either site, or browse the epub books by category or other factors such as popularity or upload date.
Each ebook is displayed with its title and author, and a short description. You can load a detailed description or the full ebook with a single click. Ebooks that you have download this way are added to your private library from where you can open them at any point in time, even if you do not have an Internet connection.
EPUBReader offers settings to change the layout and table of contents. The program will use the book’s default formatting which you can override in the options. Here it is possible to change fonts, backgrounds or the margin to customize the reading experience.
EPUBReader is a handy Firefox extension, especially for users who regularly work with ebooks in epub format.
Firefox users can download the add-on from the official Firefox add-on repository.