Download.com
  • Navigation
  • open search
Close

PLATFORMS

POPULAR LINKS

CATEGORIES

HELP & SETTINGS

Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
out of 3 votes out of 3 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.6
  • Total Downloads:
    7,791
  • Date Added:
    Sep. 27, 2017
  • Price:
    Free; iTunes account required.
  • File Size:
    19.73MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    0
  • Platform:
    iOS
  • Product ranking:
    #10 in eBooks

Editors' Review

For people who love to read but don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on books, nothing beats the public library. (Thanks Ben Franklin!) Even better, in recent years, many libraries have started offering e-books that you can check out for a few weeks, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, despite the plethora of e-book readers in the App Store, you couldn't read these DRM-protected library titles on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Until now, that is. Bluefire Reader supports not only ePub and PDF formats, but also the Adobe DRM used by most libraries. During testing, we checked out Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island" and Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," both free of charge, both without getting in the car and driving to the library. However, we had to jump through some hoops to make it happen, and the end result wasn't always perfect. Indeed, if you're expecting this process to have Kindle-like simplicity, don't.

For starters, you need a library card and/or an online account with your local library. When we signed into mine, the "ebook" section listed only NetLibrary (which has a pretty weak selection) as a download source. However, we remembered previously downloading audiobooks via OverDrive--a service that also carries e-books.

Sure enough, when we clicked through, we were able to browse and download from OverDrive's much larger e-book selection. (It's where we scored the two aforementioned titles.) Your mileage may vary, but we suspect that's where most libraries will lead you.

OverDrive offers e-books in ePub and PDF formats. Whenever possible, choose the former; reading PDFs on an iPhone or iPod is not pleasant because you're looking at, well, PDFs, not formatted e-book files. You can't adjust the font size or much of anything else. ePubs afford a much, much better reading experience.

Alas, format notwithstanding, the book you want may not be available for checkout. As with print editions in a real library, there are a limited number of licenses to go around. (Likewise, most books "expire" after three weeks, meaning they're no longer readable unless you check them out again.) We were able to place a hold on popular titles like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Help," but without knowing when they would become available.

Before you can actually read any downloaded book, you'll need to install Adobe Digital Editions (available free for Windows and Mac OS). With that step done, you can download your library book--which you'll need to open at least once in Digital Editions before you can transfer it to Bluefire Reader. And to do that, you'll use iTunes' "sideloading" feature. Check out Bluefire's help page for complete instructions.

Whew! Like we said, all this is enough to make one long for the simplicity of a Kindle. But once you learn the ropes, it's actually pretty quick and easy. And, hey, isn't it worth a little effort to score e-books for free?

 
read more +
Sponsored Products
 
read more +
User Reviews

Update Your Review

Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Submit
 
show reviews

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.6

Adds PDF Drawing Tool

Fixes Special Char Bug for iOS 10.3.1

General
Publisher Bluefire Productions
Publisher web site http://www.bluefirereader.com
Release Date September 27, 2017
Date Added September 27, 2017
Version 2.6
Category
Category Educational Software
Subcategory eBooks
Operating Systems
Operating Systems iOS
Additional Requirements Compatible with: iPad2Wifi, iPad23G, iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini, iPadMini4G, iPhone5c, iPhone5s, iPadAir, iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6, iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro, iPadProCellular, iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE, iPhone7, iPhone7Plus, iPad611, iPad612, iPad71, iPad72, iPad73, iPad74
Download Information
File Size 19.73MB
File Name External File
Popularity
Total Downloads 7,791
Downloads Last Week 0
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
Report a problem

Previous Versions