The Most Popular eBook Format: A Ranking of Digital Reading Formats

Choose the format you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 06:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate destination for avid readers and tech-savvy enthusiasts alike! We're excited to present you with our latest ranking: "What is the most popular eBook format?" With thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, we're now delving into the world of digital literature. As eBooks continue to revolutionize the way we consume content, it's essential to understand which formats reign supreme. So, put on your reading glasses and get ready to cast your vote for your favorite eBook format, or suggest a missing option that deserves recognition. Join our passionate community in this literary showdown, and let's discover together the ultimate eBook format that best caters to our diverse reading preferences. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to make your voice heard and stay informed about the ever-evolving world of digital reading!

What Is the Most Popular eBook Format?

  1. 1
    EPUB is the most popular eBook format as it is widely supported by e-readers, tablets, and smartphones. It is also an open standard format, allowing for easy distribution and formatting.
    EPUB is a widely used eBook format designed for reflowable content, enabling display on various e-readers and mobile devices. It supports the inclusion of multimedia elements and provides flexibility in text size and layout customization.
    • File Extension: .epub
    • Standardized By: IDPF
    • Publication Structure: ZIP-based archive format
    • Text Encoding: UTF-8
    • Reflowable Text: Yes
  2. 2


    PDF is a popular format for eBooks due to its compatibility across different devices and its ability to preserve formatting. It is also widely used in academic and professional settings.
    PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system.
    • Open Standard: Yes
    • Cross-platform: Yes
    • Compression: Yes
    • Security: Yes
    • Hyperlinks: Yes
  3. 3
    MOBI is a format developed specifically for Amazon Kindle devices, making it a popular choice for Kindle users. It supports features such as bookmarks and annotations.
    MOBI is a popular eBook format known for its compatibility with Amazon Kindle devices and apps. It supports various reading features and is widely used for digital book publishing.
    • File Extension: .mobi
    • Supported Devices: Amazon Kindle devices, Kindle apps
    • Compression: MOBI and PalmDOC compression
    • Metadata: Supports metadata like title, author, publisher, etc.
    • Document Features: Table of contents, bookmarks, annotations, highlighting, dictionary lookup, etc.
  4. 4


    AZW is another format developed by Amazon for their Kindle devices. It offers similar features to MOBI, but with additional DRM protection.
    AZW is a popular eBook format primarily used by Amazon for its Kindle e-readers and Kindle apps. It is a proprietary format based on the Mobipocket standard. AZW files are commonly used for purchasing and reading eBooks from the Amazon Kindle Store.
    • Formatting: Supports text formatting, inline images, bookmarks, annotations, and highlights
    • File Extension: .azw
    • Format Type: Binary
    • Supported Platforms: Amazon Kindle devices, Kindle apps for iOS, Android, and desktop
    • Encryption: Supports DRM (Digital Rights Management)
  5. 5


    TXT is a simple, plain text format that is widely supported by e-readers and software. It is commonly used for eBooks that do not require formatting or graphics.
    TXT stands for plain text and is a common eBook format used for storing and exchanging simple textual information. It does not support advanced formatting, images, or multimedia content.
    • Layout: No defined page structure
    • Formatting: Limited or no formatting options
    • Images: Not supported
    • Extension: .txt
    • Encoding: ASCII, UTF-8
  6. 6
    HTML is a popular format for eBooks that require complex formatting or multimedia elements, such as textbooks or interactive books. It can be read on most devices with a web browser.
    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and documents. It defines the structure and presentation of content on the World Wide Web.
    • HTML 2.0: Developed in 1995, introduced form elements and tables.
    • HTML 3.2: Released in 1997, added support for frames and CGI forms.
    • HTML 4.01: Published in 1999, introduced cascading style sheets (CSS) and multimedia integration.
    • HTML5: Published in 2014, introduced new semantic elements, multimedia support, and offline web application capabilities.
    • HTML Living Standard: Ongoing maintenance and evolution of HTML.
  7. 7


    CBZ is a format for digital comic books, offering support for images and panels. It is compatible with most e-readers and software.
    CBZ is a popular eBook format used for comic books and manga. It is essentially a collection of image files (such as JPEG or PNG) compressed into a single archive file, typically in ZIP format. CBZ files are designed for easy reading and navigation through sequential images.
    • File extension: .cbz
    • Compression: ZIP (Lossless)
    • Image formats: JPEG, PNG
    • Navigation: Sequential image browsing
    • Bookmarking: Not natively supported
  8. 8


    CBR is another format for digital comic books, similar to CBZ but with support for additional features such as metadata and annotations. It is also widely supported.
    CBR (Comic Book RAR) is a popular eBook format primarily used for digital comic books and manga. It allows users to package sequential image files, such as JPEG or PNG, into a single file with the extension .cbr. CBR files are compressed using the RAR format, making it convenient for storage and distribution.
    • File Extension: .cbr
    • Compression Format: RAR
    • Supported Image Formats: JPEG, PNG, and others
    • Container Format: Archive
    • Sequential Image Ordering: Preserves page order
  9. 9


    PRC is a format used by Mobipocket e-readers and software, offering features such as annotation and bookmarking. It is also compatible with some non-Amazon e-readers.
    PRC (also known as Mobipocket) is a popular eBook format used for storing and distributing digital content. It was originally created by Mobipocket SA, a French company that specializes in eBook software. PRC files are commonly used for eBooks and can be read on various devices including smartphones, tablets, and e-readers.
    • Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry
    • File Extension: .prc, .mobi
    • Compression: Compressed using the MOBI format
    • DRM: Supports DRM protection
    • Content Types: Text, images, tables
  10. 10
    DJVU is a format for scanned documents and images, offering high compression rates and support for bookmarks and annotations. It is commonly used for eBooks that require high-quality images or scanned documents.
    DJVU is a popular eBook format known for its high compression ratio and specialized image compression algorithms. It was developed by AT&T Labs Research and primarily designed for scanned documents, especially those with a combination of text and images. The format aims to provide a good balance between file size and image quality, making it suitable for distribution and archiving purposes.
    • Compression Ratio: High (typically 10:1 to 20:1)
    • Image Compression Algorithms: Specialized algorithms (JB2, IW44, etc.)
    • Support for Text Layer: Yes
    • Support for Multiple Pages: Yes
    • Support for Hyperlinks: Yes

Missing your favorite format?


Ranking factors for popular format

  1. Compatibility
    How widely compatible is the eBook format with various eReader devices, software, and platforms? Wider compatibility means easier access for a larger number of users.
  2. File size
    Smaller file sizes are generally preferred, as they take up less storage space and are faster to download, sync, and share.
  3. Text and formatting options
    eBooks should support different text and formatting options, such as font style and size, line spacing, margins, and text alignment.
  4. Multimedia support
    Some eBook formats allow for the inclusion of multimedia elements, like images, videos, and audio files, which can enhance the reader's experience.
  5. Interactivity
    Features such as clickable table of contents, embedded links, annotations, and highlights can greatly improve the reading experience. The eBook format should support these interactive elements.
  6. Digital Rights Management (DRM)
    The eBook format should offer some level of DRM support to protect the rights of authors and publishers, while not being overly restrictive to the point of limiting usability.
  7. Availability of tools and software
    The availability and ease of use of eBook creation and conversion tools, as well as support in various eBook distribution platforms, should be considered.
  8. Accessibility
    The eBook format should support features that make it accessible for readers with disabilities, such as text-to-speech capabilities, support for screen readers, and adjustable contrast settings.
  9. Scalability
    The eBook format should scale well on various screen sizes and resolutions to provide a consistent reading experience.
  10. Quality
    The overall quality of the eBook – including text, formatting, and images – should remain high and consistent across different devices and platforms.
  11. Market popularity
    The popularity of an eBook format in the market may affect its adoption by readers, publishers, and distributors, which can play a role in determining the format's long-term viability.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular eBook format. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or form is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 165 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each form once every 24 hours. The rank of each form is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular ebook format

When it comes to reading eBooks, there are various formats to choose from. Each format has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the popularity of each format can vary depending on the device and software used for reading. The most popular eBook formats include EPUB, PDF, MOBI, and AZW. EPUB is a widely adopted format that is compatible with most devices and is highly customizable. PDF, on the other hand, is a fixed-layout format that is popular for textbooks and magazines. MOBI and AZW are formats used exclusively by Amazon for their Kindle devices. EPUB is considered the most popular format, due to its versatility and open-source nature. It allows readers to adjust font size, line spacing, and margins, making it a great option for readers with visual impairments. Additionally, EPUB files are lightweight and can be easily shared and read on multiple devices, making it a top choice for publishers. Overall, the most popular eBook format depends on the preferences of the reader and the device used for reading. Regardless of the format, eBooks have become a popular and convenient way to read books, magazines, and other publications.

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