Minimalistic ebook viewer application

I know this is a bit tangential to the topic of this forum, but I do read a lot of articles and books and I often have to do that in a “virtual” way, since I don’t want to print out hundreds of pages.
Right now I’m using a tablet to read these, but I have them all stored on my computer, neatly organized in folders according to my own system. And that works great for me and makes it also very future proof, since it does not depend on any proprietary database structure, and can be copied from one place to the other with the basic tools the OS has.

But, I’m rambling a bit, here’s my problem:
Sometimes I just want to take a quick peek at an ebook to see if I want to read it or not, or just to choose what to copy to the tablet. Unfortunately neither Mac’s Quick Look, nor Preview do support displaying epub files and I don’t want to be forced to open each one in iBook and then delete them again. right now I’m stuck with using EPUBreader, which is an addon for Firefox, but it’s really not ideal.
All I need is a simple MacOS application which will open an epub file when I double click it! Nothing more! I don’t want any library management built-in. The program should not try to interfere with my file management in any way.
But after countless hours of searching, I couldn’t fine one.
Anybody knows one?

you could check out

clearview: https://apps.apple.com/de/app/clearview/id557090104?mt=12

or
kitabu: https://kitabu.en.softonic.com/mac

Thank you very much for the links! Unfortunately both are based around a “library” mechanic. I.e. they have their own library, with their own file system, so anything you open with the application will create a copy of the ebook somewhere on the HD. Which is exactly what I don’t want the app to do.

What I am looking for is basically the VCL of ebook reader apps. A program that will just display the ebook without copying it anywhere.

that’s exactly how i use clearview…didn´t even know that it has a library.

I just checked. There is an option to use a library but that wasn’t shown by default.
all my files are stored in the folders supposed to be and aren´t copied to another folder. There isn’t even a clearview specific folder on my hard drive.
I´m using Version 1.6 which is, I guess, an old version.
Don’t know if the behavior changed with newer versions.

why not build your own???

Readium is a Chrome extension that does what you’re looking for. Nativefier lets you turn any webpage in Chrome into a desktop app. Between the two you should be able to whip up what you need in an afternoon!

For example I use Mailplane - it’s that but for Gmail. As a dedicated app I can put it in my toolbar for immediate email access, switch to it with cmd+tab, set it as my default mail application, etc, without having to adjust to a new UI.

on the e-book front, I just got a Kobo e-reader, which I absolutely love because it connects directly to both my public library account and to Pocket (for saving articles for deeper reading later). But the library management features are annoying so I relate to your desire to avoid something similar.

This QuickLook plugin is working for me in Mojave.

I just checked. There is an option to use a library but that wasn’t shown by default.
all my files are stored in the folders supposed to be and aren´t copied to another folder. There isn’t even a clearview specific folder on my hard drive.
I´m using Version 1.6 which is, I guess, an old version.
Don’t know if the behavior changed with newer versions.

Oh cool! Then I’ll definitely give it a shot! From the app’s description it sounded like it would rely on a library system like all the others.

Definitely also an option. But if I can find a native application that does the job, I’d prefer that. If everything else fails, having one more option is great, though!

This QuickLook plugin is working for me in Mojave.

Tried that already. That would of coruse have been the best solution. But, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work on Catalina.

I rechecked it again and have to correct me. there is a hidden clearview folder in which there’s some cache going on. it seems that clearview converts the epubs into a html and a css file…but it seems that the files get deleted from time to time cause there are way less files than ebook files I opened with clearview.

so still a better option than iBooks

Yes, it does sound better! Thanks for checking!

Oh and btw. afaik epub is just a container with html and css inside.

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Forgot to follow up on this one, but I did go with Clearview and I can confirm that it totally does what I was after!
It’s pretty cool actually. You just drop folders into the application and it lets you browse and read EPUB and PDF files from there.
Basically the folders you add there are your library, but the actual files stay where they are.
You can’t move, copy or delete files, but you can show any file in the finder to do that. It gets me close enough to what I needed. So thanks @reijo !

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