My perspective of viewers/Readers - txt, PDB,PDF,RTF,CHM


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 6, 2010
The following is my experience trying to find the best reader.
Let me start by making a few statements. I have not looked at all of the readers/viewers.So my list is incomplete. If you are looking for a one size fits all reader/viewer,stop reading. As far as I know, there is no one universal reader/viewer
Also, I have discovered there is not a MS .LIT reader. There are reasons which if curious you can find out easily. This is unfortunate for me as I have a lot of .LIT formatted books. There is as far as I can tell no way to view local .htm formatted items. I have not been able to get the builtin Browser or even Opera Lite to work. If there is a way, I would be thrilled. I have tried using hyreader and have uneven results.
So if you have htm or LIT, plan to convert. This can be done with converters like Calibre, but that is not what I am going to write about.

Last comment, Many of the Tablets/Slates come out of China with either cracked or Keyed versions of commercial apps. If you like the product, buy it. If you don't buy it, then there will not be the choices as it does cost time for the developer to make it.
One final comment is that you get what you pay for. The free products work, but are limited in features or compatibility. The price you pay for the paid product does not always mean a better product. Some inexpensive products are even better than the more expensive product.

Formats I use on my Tablet. .txt, .chm, .pdb, .prc, .pdf and .rtf So I looked for products which support these formats.

PDB/PRC viewers
I have tried-Palmbookreader,iReader,iSilo. PalmbookReader is free. It works but is limited in compatibility and capability. iReader works but it has one limitation. It requires access to Market. The price is right. it has multiple format capabilities, but unless you have Market access, it may not be available to buy. iSilo is full featured for the first 30 days and afterwards is free. My primary dislikes are compatibility with some PRC formatted files and the better capability only if you convert to the iSiloX format.
What am I using: iReader

TXT viewers
I have tried MultiReader,IReader,ISilo,FBReader. FBReader is Free and has an ease of use once you get used to it. It also supposedly can read other formats, I just either do not use the format or cannot get it to open. It is relatively easy to Master. MultiReader has a nice feature in that it can be a Text to Speech reader. The down side is that it requires Market access, and continous connectivity to speak. This is a huge limitation and battery drain.
What am I using: FBReader and iReader

CHM Viewers
I have tried HyReader and iReader. Hyreader is Free and more than adequate for most CHM reading. I think either are capable

RTF Viewers.
There may be others but only MultiReader seems to be able to read RTF files. Even Documents to Go have issues with RTF format.

PDF Viewers
I have tried Documents to Go PDF viewer, Adobe Reader and ANDPDF. Documents to go works quite well but not necessary unless you will be using Office documents. Adobe Reader and ANDPDF are both free. The problem with Adobe is finding it not on the Market. I find ANDPDF works quite well. But your milage may vary.
In my next post I will try to describe how to simplify navigation and use of some of the tools. I may also talk about the other formats such as mobi, and the DRMs formats.
Last edited:


Staff member
Jul 9, 2010
You can convert formats so you don't have to use 5 pieces of software that do the essentially the same thing just with Calibre can't you?

I stick to Aldiko and iReader for the most part. I can convert to epub for Aldiko, but I leave my txt files for iReader.

I haven't heard of some of the softwares on your list. Where do you get ebooks in so many different formats anyway?

China doesn't have access to paid apps, so if you are buying a product out of China, they have no choice but to pirate. But I think many of them would have copied the app anyway.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 6, 2010
I have been acquiring and keeping my E-Library almost 20 years. I used WAIS and Mosaic as a indicator to date me. This is why I have so many TXT files.
I had a Palm and the one of the First IPaq Aero PDAs. This is what started me using PDB, PRC and LIT formats.I use CHM and HTM from source reference. PDFs are typically available from my E-mag subscriptions.RTF is something I just have and never converted.

I never got into Comic book viewers so cannot speak to those. I tried Calibre. I just am not thrilled by the space and time it took to convert. I found it easier to leave the book in the format I originally acquired. I have the MS Word to LIT converter and did that for a while, which is also why I have so many LIT books

But you asked me about sources of my books. This is my sources for more than a lifetime of reading. I know there are many many more. This is biased towards English, But I am sure there are sources for Portugese, German, Spanish.... Pulp SciFi and Mystery , One great thing is you can choose your ebook format
Free Books : Download & Streaming : Ebook and Texts Archive : Internet Archive My Favorite source. Movies, Music, Text and the WayBack Machine Freedom of Knowledge; The Power of Thought Off the wall to valid research. You can make up your mind
Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg My other favorite source So many books so little time
Books & Publishers, E-Books - E-Reference - Subject Guides at Brigham Young University BYU List of E-Book sources. Very Useful


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