Free Open-Source Browser-Based eBook Reader: Flow

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Flow is a free open-source browser-based eBook Reader. This eBook reader is available as a Progressive Web App (PWA) that runs in the browser. The reader supports a wide range of eBook file formats including EPUB, FB2, MOBI, AZW3, and more. It has built-in highlight and annotation features that you can use to mark content and access that later at any time. Along with that, it comes with all the basic functionalities such as search in the books, image preview, and theme customization.

Flow supports direct import from the local storage along with an option to download and share eBooks with a link. It lets you change the typography so you can view the content in the desired font family and font size. The reader allows you to create and organize your library and remember the reading positions of the books. It stores this data locally using the IndexedDB that you can easily import/export. You can also connect it with your Dropbox account for cloud-based data synchronization.

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What is an eBook?

eBook is short for electronic book. It is a book published in digital form that can be downloaded or purchased online. E-readers are dedicated eBook reader devices such as Kindle. However, you can easily open and read eBooks on phones, tablets, and computers as well.

In comparison to a physical book, an eBook comes with the convenience of reading anywhere without carrying extra weight. It is also affordability, eBooks are often much cheaper than traditional printed books.

Being a digital file, eBooks come in multiple file formats. EPUB and MOBI are the two commonly used formats for eBooks. AZW3 is another popular format that is used in Kindle devices. Different formats provide better text formatting and compatibility on different types of devices.

What is an eBook Reader?

An eBook Reader is a device specifically designed for reading electronic books (eBooks). It is a lightweight device that comes in the size of tablets and laptops. An eReader typically has networking (WiFi), storage, and display to download, save, and show eBooks. Many eReader devices come with an E Ink display that provides a paper-like feel. Some eBook readers also have built-in dictionaries and text-to-speech. The dictionaries allow you to quickly search words with ease and the text-to-speech lets you can listen to your books instead of reading them.

Why do you need an eBook Reader?

Apart from the physical devices, there are eBook programs and apps that you can run on phones and computers. These apps support various eBook file formats that might not be natively supported on the device. With better text formatting and reading-orientated features, an eBook reader provides great eBook reading experiences on phones, tablets, and computers.

Flow eBook Reader

Flow eBook Reader is a Progressive Web App (PWA) that you can easily run in any modern web browser. You can simply visit the URL and launch the app to have a native eBook Reader.

The main screen has an address bar at the top. You can paste a link to a book and add that to your library. When you open a book from your library, it generates a link for that book. You can use that link to share the ebook with others. Below that, you have an Export and Import button that you can use to add eBooks and backup/restore data (library and reading status).

Flow index your library on the left side with a preview of the books in the middle. It shows the book cover along with the title. On top of the book cover, it shows the current reading status of the book.

User Interface

This reader opens the books in tabs. You can open multiple books simultaneously and easily switch books. The left side panel lists the index. From there, you can jump to the desired chapter or topic of the book.

While reading, you can select a word or sentence to get additional features. You can copy, search, annotate, and highlight. It lets you annotate and highlight using different colors. And you can easily access the animation of an open book from the side panel.


Flow has a set of tabs on the left side that lets you access features and perform tasks. It includes:

  • Search: To search books and within books.
  • Annotation: This section shows the annotations that you have saved in a book. It lists the highlighted work or sentences with a click-to-jump functionality.
  • Image: This section indexes all the images of the books.
  • Timeline: This section lists the index of the book with timestamps. It shows the time when you visited each chapter/topic.
  • Typography: This section lets you adjust the font and text.
  • Theme: This section lets you change the appearance of the reader by changing the source and background colors.


The Typography section lets you configure the Typography for the current book or the entire reader. You can set the page view (single/double), font family, font size, font weight, line weight, and zoom level. You can configure the Typography for each book and it remembers your preferences whenever you open configured books.

Give it a try here.

Closing Words

Flow is a nice eBook reader app that you can use across platforms. Being a Progressive Web App (PWA), it does not require any installation. You can create a shortcut to Flow in your browser and can set it as the default EPUB reader. It comes with a nice set of features and customization to provide a decent reading experience. The process of adding and sharing books is effortless that anyone can do.  With local data storage, it also provides data safety without losing your library and reading positions. In addition to PWA, Flow is open-source software (OSS) that you can self-host using Docker as well.

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