Lector a new open-source Qt-based ebook app for Linux desktops.
It supports most common DRM-free ebook files, including EPUB, MOBI, and AZW, as well as comic book files in the CBZ or CBR format.
In both visuals and in features Lector is something of a page-turner; a desktop ebook reader you can absolutely judge by its cover.
So join me as I take a closer look at its features.
Lector is a Qt eBook Reader for Linux Desktops
Last summer we took a look at the best ebook reader apps for Ubuntu. That list didn’t include Lector as it didn’t exist back then.
Don’t worry, the name ‘Lector’ isn’t related to Hannibal but is a word that means “reader”
But based on the strength of the features already on offer, it should shoot straight to the top of our list.
The back cover blurb of Lector on Github pitches it as a more of an ebook reader app than a fully-fledged ebook client like Calibre.
But I think it has all of the essential ebook features most of us will either want, need or care about.
It lacks animated touches found in similar apps on other platforms (no page turning animations here) but, quite honestly, that’s not a major issue for most.
Getting set-up is simple: you just point Lector at the folder you store your ebooks in and it handles the rest.
It displays your ebook library in a browsable library fronted by book covers (don’t panic if you don’t like fancy as a regular table view is also available).
Menu options allow you to sort books in your library by author, title, last read, and so on, and there’s a comprehensive search option with easy reach to filter things manually.
When you import books into your library it does not move or copy the files to a new location, but indexes them where they are. This helps a) avoid duplicates and b) keeps the application’s database (and your file system) lean and clean.
You can right-click on any book displayed in the library view to edit ebook metadata like the title, author name, publication year, and genre.
You can also double-click on any book to enter reader mode.
Like Bookworm, a similar GTK-based ebook reader and manager app, Lector is inherently customizable.
There are options change ebook font, page color, font size, and letter spacing, plus zoom controls.
Since different types of books may work best with different page color and font combinations Lector lets you save page view settings as ‘profiles’ that you can quickly switch between.
You can also bookmark pages to easily return at a later date. You can also see, edit and delete all your bookmarks at any time by opening the bookmarks sidebar.
As well as being an excellent ePub reader Lector is also able to open and manage mobi ebook files, Amazon azw, azw3 and azw4 formats. Common comic book file formats cbr and cbz are also supported.
Lector also has has an in-app dictionary. This lets you quickly find an accurate definition for any word you encounter without needing to leave the app.
You can also ‘find’ a specific word or phrase in a book using search.
The only major features missing at present is a highlighting tool and a note/annotation pad — but these are on the developer’s to-do list!
Other features planned for future Lector releases include support for PDF books, annotations/notes, GoodReads API integration (for star ratings, recommendations, etc) and additional page modes (double pages, continuous, etc).
Try Lector ePub Reader on Linux
Lector is still in early development, and only pre-release builds are available for bookworms to get a taste of — though these are not in an easily digestible format!
But while Lector is not easy to install on Ubuntu it is (naturally) already available in AUR for Arch users.
You can easily get it to run if you have a splash of CLI know-how and all of the requisite dependencies installed. Because of Lector’s early status you should keep in mind that there may be missing features, bugs, or related issues.
Full details can be found on the project Github page:
Do you use or like any ebook readers in particular? What features do you need? And do know of other free epub readers for Linux that we haven’t mentioned before?
Chime in with your thoughts in the comments space below.