About BookReader


What is BookReader?

BookReader – as you probably surmise – allows you to comfortably read books right on your Mac in a fully customizable layout. It supports all the most common formats:

  • ePUB
  • fb2
  • MOBI (Kindle)
  • PCR (Kindle)
  • iBooks (including the new epub3 format with video, animations and interactive content)
  • html
  • webarchive (Safari)
  • doc (Microsoft Word)
  • rtf
  • rtfd
  • txt

Please note: BookReader will NOT open DRM-ENCRYPTED BOOKS.

Key Features

  • Natural Two-page Viewing Mode
  • BookShelf Customizable Database
  • Exportable Highlights and Notes
  • Table of Contents
  • Search Function
  • Bookmarks
  • Fullscreen Mode
  • Text To Speech for vision impaired people
  • Fully customizable Keyboard Commands
  • Fully customizable Fonts, Sizes, Colors
  • Fully customizable Book Background
  • Fully natural Page-flipping Sound
  • Automatic Charset Encoding


  • English
  • Czech
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian

What’s New in Version 5

  • New SUPERFAST e-Book Engine
  • Page flipping animation
  • BookShelf improvements
  • Completely Restyled Intuitive Interface
  • EPUB3 Support (video, animations and interactive multimedia contents)
  • Text Highlighting and Notes
  • Retina Display Ready
  • Simplified Preference Settings
  • Significantly Reduced Memory Use

BookReader is a native Mac Cocoa application developed by Leonid Mesentsev.
Copyright © 2012-2016 L.Y.Mesentsev. All rights reserved.



BookShelf is a powerful tool for managing and organizing your entire library. And it easily fits in any room in your house! It has a simple intuitive user interface that allows you to easily organize your books and enter, modify and memorize added information, including multiple tags and genres for optimal organization.

Getting started

When you first launch BookReader, the empty BookShelf will look like this (unless you have already loaded any books or documents).
It has two main areas: the Sidebar and the Books area.

Drag and drop books (no throwing though!) from the Finder to your BookShelf. Icons will appear as you add books to this section. They will also appear on the sidebar list.

Use the sliding tool in the upper right-hand corner (under the Search tool) to increase or decrease the size of the book icons.

The total number of loaded books is displayed in the lower right-hand corner of the BookShelf Window.

All file types supported by BookReader can be organized and edited in BookShelf. PDF files, however, will open in MacOS Preview. You can still use BookShelf, however, to archive and edit all the metadata of PDF files.

Using the Sidebar

Once you’ve dragged and dropped, but not thrown all your books to the BookShelf, you can use the sidebar to select them not only by title, but also by author, genre, customizable tags, personal favorites and unread books.


Lists all the authors in the BookShelf database. Click on an author’s name to view all the books by a given author. Click on Authors again to return to full list of authors. (This also restores all your books to the BookShelf.)


Lists all the genres in the BookShelf database. Click on a genre to view all the books of that genre. Click on Genres again to return to full list of genres. (This also restores all your books to the BookShelf.)


Lists all the books with a given tag in the BookShelf database. Click on a tag to view all the books with the same tag. Click on Tags again to return to full list of Tags. (This also restores all your books to the BookShelf.)

Tags can be customized by using the Table Viewing Mode or the Get Info command in the context menu.
You can enter more than one tag by separating them with commas.


Well, you get the idea … it lists all the books you have indicated as your favorites.

New Books

Same drill. It lists all the books that you have not read (excluding sneak peaks).

Multiple Genres & Tags

You can also use multiple genres and tags to catalogue all your books (either via the Table Mode or the Get Info command).

This is an excellent tool for organizing a large digital library.

Multiple genres and tags are displayed in the Sidebar.

Genres – insert separated by a dash (-), comma (,) and semicolon (;). For example, if you categorize a book as “Novel – Sci-fi; Andromeda, Nexus” in the genre field, the Sidebar will list each term.

Tags – tags work just as the genres, but they are separated only by commas (,) or semicolons (;). So, if you insert “Apple; Steve Jobs, History” all three tags will be listed in the Sidebar.

Display Modes

You can visualize your BookShelf in a whopping three modes: Shelves, Table and CoverFlow.


Displays your books by icons and is zoom-capable. You can zoom in/out with the touchpad gesture or by using the slider in the upper right-hand corner.


This mode is perfect for editing your book data: Title, Author, Genre and Tags. Just click on the field that you wish to modify.


This is a MacOS native option that allows you to leaf through your book covers through gestures as in the Finder. This is the preferred viewing mode by 0.0001% of the world’s population.


Using the Context Menu

A context menu is a ridiculously confusing term for what will appear if you right click your magic mouse or trackpad or two-finger tap your touchpad. Let’s make it even easier. It’s what you see here:

The Context Menu allows you to:

  • Open a book (if you like doing it the long way)
  • Get Info for a book; a new window will open up.
  • Sort books by Title, Author, Genre, Tags, Date added, Last book opened or Size
  • Mark as Read, Unread or Favorite
  • Import books from any folder
  • Export books from BookShelf
  • Select All books on the BookShelf
  • Remove Selected books from the BookShelf
  • Remove All books from the BookShelf

Let’s look at some of these commands in greater detail.

Get info

Yes, Get Info, retrieves information. All the fields visible in this window can be customized.

  • Title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Tags
  • Annotation

After entering or modifying the information as desired, click on close.
You can reload the original data at any point by clicking on the Reload Metadata button.

Naturally (well I hope this seems natural to you), this means you will loose all the information previously inserted for a given book, including tags and annotations. So think long and hard before hitting that button! You will not be able to turn back.

You can also change the book cover: the instructions to do this are here.
The Get Info command works in all three BookShelf display modes.


The Sort By command allows you to organize your books by:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Tags
  • Date Added
  • Date Opened
  • Size

The Sort By command works in all three BookShelf display modes.

Mark As

The Mark As command is a built-in tag that allows you to organize your books according to three criteria: Read, Unread or Favorite.
Please note that as computers have not become sentient yet, your book will be marked as “read” as soon as you open it once. So, the command is here for you to sort out what you actually have and have not read!

The Mark As command works in all three BookShelf display modes.


The Import Command allows you to add books to BookReader. The command will bring up your Finder window to select the books.
Alternatively, just drag and drop your books directly from the Finder.
The Import command works in all three BookShelf display modes.

Export Selected Books

The Export Selected Command allows you to export Books from BookReader.


Editing a Selection of Books

If you need to batch edit a selection of books, use either the Shelf or the Table display mode. Select the books (cmd-option + click) and click OK on the warning message.

This will open a special Info window displaying “multiple values” in each field.

Any information you enter will be assigned to your entire selection.

This option allows you to quickly assign tags, genres and annotations to a series of books or documents. Just make sure your library doesn’t become a 200 volume collection of “Planet of the Apes.” Then again, who knows, that might be your ultimate goal …
Moreover, if you do not believe in variety, you can assign the same book cover to all your titles or just to a selection of titles (which would qualify you as slightly more sane 😉 by dragging an image to the indicated window.

The Reload Metadata button will restore the original book or document information.


Changing a Book Cover

If for whatever reason you wish to change the cover of a book, all you need to do is:

  1. Select the book (either in the Shelves or Table Display Mode)
  2. Drag your new cover file (jpeg, gif, ….) from the Finder to the lower left-hand corner panel where the original book cover is displayed.

If you have not selected a book, you will see “drop new book cover for selected image here” displayed in this panel and will NOT be able to change the book cover.

This will only work in the Shelves and Table display mode. It will NOT work in Cover Flow.
Click on the triangular “play” icon underneath this panel to hide/display it.



The search tool in the upper right-hand corner allows you to … yes … search your library.
This tool is anchored to the Sidebar selection as displayed in the search window (search in authors, search in genres, search in tags, etc.).

So, click on authors to search for authors, genres to search for genres, or click on a specific tag to.



BookReader and Book Shelf are fully customizable. You can access your Preferences panel from the BookWindow or pressing Cmd-,

This will open up a window with four headings:

  • Reading
  • Controls
  • Misc
  • Animation

Automatic Preview Feature – any changes you make to the Preference settings will instantly be adjusted in your Book Window. So, there is no need to save your changes to see how your changes will appear! Keep changing till you get your book just as you like it!


  • Encoding – modify the character set for languages with special characters.
  • Font – select your preferred reading font.
  • Font Size – regulate the font size.
  • Margins – set your own margin preferences.
  • Line Spacingsingle, double, triple-space … to infinity and beyond!
  • Column Gap – are you a column freak? Set the width of book columns!
  • Text Color – You can read in any color that your Mac can generate!


Do you prefer using keyboard controls? (It’s OK … no one will ever find out! 😉

You can use the default controls or customize them by clicking on each individual command and entering the desired key.

Disable Gestures – deactivates trackpad controls.

Misc (miscellaneous)

  • BookShelf Background – Don’t like the color? Try our selection of classics!
  • Book Background – tired of the same old white background? Go for Sepia or Night.
  • Auto-hide Control Bar – hides the control bar, what else? Roll your cursor over the area to make it reappear.
  • Flipping Page Sound – can’t live without that hyperrealistic page turning sound? Click here.
  • Inverted Scroll – invert the default scroll commands.
  • Hide BookShelf on Launch – go straight to your book on opening BookReader.
  • Show Welcome Window – activate/deactivate the welcome panel.


  • Backlight Gradient – regulate the background luminosity
  • Animation – currently unavailable – coming soon – stay tuned!
  • Duration – currently unavailable – coming soon – stay tuned!

Book Window


Kick back and enjoy your book! BookReader is easy to use, intuitive and streamlined for a perfect user experience. There just are a few controls you should learn about to gain complete control of your literary empire!

To turn the pages just swipe two fingers horizontally across your trackpad/magic mouse:

  • Right to left – leaf forwards
  • Left to right – leaf backwards

(You can also change the verse within the Preferences)

You can use BookReader in the MacOS-native full screen mode by clicking on the two-arrow icon in the very upper right-hand corner of the application.

Page Slider

The Page Slider is located on the bottom right-hand side of your Book Window. It allows you to use the cursor to move through pages much more quickly. As you slide the cursor along, it will display the:

  • Page Number
  • Chapter Title

The current page number is displayed to the right of the Page Slider next to the book’s total page count. You can also leaf through the pages by clicking on this number.



To access your Preferences set-up click on the icon located on the bottom left-hand side of your Book Window.
You will find the instructions here.


The Bookmark icon on the bottom left-hand side of your Book Window opens a window with two headings:

  • Table of Contents – Yes, this lists the table of contents. Click on a chapter to move there; scroll up/down to see all the chapters in the table;
  • Bookmarks – displays a list of all your bookmarks. Click on a bookmark to go to the bookmarked page.

You can add bookmarks by clicking on the grey ribbon icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Book Window.


This command brings you back to the last page you were on before using the bookmarks or the table of contents.


The search feature allows you to search a text for specific words, phrases or sentences.
The instant search feature provides you with possible matches as you type. Click on any search result to move to that page.

Click the Return button to return to the page from which you started searching.

Text Highlighting and Notes

You can select and highlight text area using the context menu

If you would like to add a note to the highlighted area, just click on it and Notes popover will be appeared.

You can see all your Highlights and Notes clicking on Bookmarks icon and choosing Highlights tab.

Obviously, clicking on note item will show that note on its page.

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