Free PDF Book Reader for Windows 8: The Book Shelf

The Book Shelf is a free app that allows you to read books in PDF format on your Windows 8 device. The app can also be considered a PDF reader app, but it’s better to call it a book reader, as it allows you to organize and categorize your PDF books into various categories, or shelves, as the app developer calls them. When a book is added, you can enter small notes about the book, and you can also attach a cover image for the book while adding it. Cover images can be chosen by navigating and choosing an image file from within the app. Upon adding the book, you may open it by clicking on its cover in the shelf that you have added it in.

The Book Shelf is very lightweight and you can get it for free in the Books and Reference category of the Windows App Store.

The Book Shelf Reader Interface

Candid features of The Book Shelf:

When the app is installed and fired up, you will see its main interface which is very user friendly. The UI of the app is clean and has a very modern feel to it, thereby fitting in well with the Windows 8 design guidelines.

The Book Shelf Main Screen

Obviously as we have just launched the app, there are no books in any of the book shelves in the app. The app has 4 book shelves by default, namely All books, General, Programming and Novels. You can add more categories by right clicking on the screen to fire up the control bar and then selecting the add category button from the bottom right. For now, we will add a PDF book in one of the pre installed categories. To add a book, right click and select the Add Book button from the control bar. You will now be able to add a new book by using the on screen controls which will appear on the screen.

The Book Shelf Add New Book

In the above screen, simply specify the title of the book, click on Browse to point the app to a book by choosing one from the file browser interface which will pop up upon clicking on the browse button, select a category from the drop down menu (You can see that I have chosen the General Category), and then add a few notes (or not) in the small details box. You can then choose to pick an image for the book by clicking on the Change image button below the book cover that will be picked up automatically from the first page of your PDF file. Once added, the book can be read by going back to the main screen and then clicking on its  cover.

The Book Shelf Book Added

Clicking on the book above will open up the reader interface of the app which is pretty minimal to say the least. The book is presented to you in vertically scrollable fashion, and basically the app is able to render any and all types of PDF files pretty smoothly and flawlessly!

The Book Shelf Reader Interface

This winds up the features of this app in brief. If you are looking for apps that will allow you to read EPUB files as well, look no further and check out the OverDrive Media Console and Book HD apps.

To wind it up:

The Book Shelf makes for a pretty amazing PDF file reader application for any and all devices running Windows 8 or 8.1 and is extremely lightweight. The app is free from those pesky annoying ads, and the ability to categorize books makes it a real winner. The app does a lot more than merely opening up PDF files, by allowing you to add brief notes and sort out the files, and hence is hands down one of my favorite PDF readers out there on the Store!

Get The Book Shelf.