Kitabu: A Simple and Free EPUB Reader

Kitabu, from Sixty Four, LLC, is a simple, no frills EPUB reader for OS X. It has some basic but well chosen features, it’s fairly solid and, best of all, free.

For serious e-book collectors, it may be desirable to have a full-featured e-book reader like Calibre or BookReader. However, others may simply have a need to occasionally inspect an EPUB document, and a free one hits the spot. That’s what Kitabu is.

Kitabu icon

Developed in Estonia, by Sixty Four, LLC, Kitabu is just part of their EPUB technology offerings, and a free EPUB reader is a good way to introduce customers to their products. For example, there is an ePUB Metadata editor (US$3.99) and an EPUB Packager ($0.99).

Kitabu-1Showing the TOC sidebar, position slider and sepia background


Kitabu has a short but pleasing list of features:

  • Font size adjustment
  • Background color adjustment (3)
  • Lion Full Screen mode
  • Control of number of columns (1,2,3)
  • Copy or move document into the library
  • Finder inspection of the library
  • Slider and percentage indicator for position in e-book
  • TOC sidebar
  • Can open HTML links
  • Supports embedded media files, audio & video

Kitabu-3Simple display options


  • Can only view one document at a time
  • Limited font selection (Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia, Arial)
  • No search
  • No bookmarks
  • No change of font color
  • No gesture support
  • Only reads EPUB format

The app claims drag and drop support. Not knowing for sure what that meant, I dragged an EPUB document into the library (using Lion 10.7.3) and the app promptly crashed. Even if I didn’t take the meaning of “drag and drop” correctly, that bug needs fixing.

Kitabu-2Three column mode

All things considered, for a free app that doesn’t aspire to go toe to toe with the major apps like Bookle, BookReader, Calibre, and Murasaki, it’s a convenient, small (0.8 MB), and stable during reading of docs that gets the job done nicely. (See TMO’s Guide to Writring, Publishing & E-books for more on those apps.)

Do I Recommemd it?

I do. The app is modest in its ambitions yet does the job nicely. I found it to be stable, except for the bug noted above, and fast. For that, it gets a Solid rating. It has room to grow if the developer sees fit. It has some essential features, and implements those gracefully. This is a good app to have around if you’re not into collecting e-books on your Mac, but occasionally need to inspect an EPUB document.

Kitabu 1.0.1 requires OS X 10.6 or later. It’s free.

Kitabu libraryA modest library of EPUBs

Product: Kitabu v 1.0.1

Company: Sixty Four, LLC

List Price: Free



Simple, lightweight, well chosen features, font size and background control, handles embedded media, free.


Missing features most major EPUB readers have like search & bookmarks. Limited to casual use.