Monocle puts books in your browser. Like this.

Swipe the page from right to left.


Monocle is digital books for everyone. You can use it on any device with a modern web browser: the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad, Android for phones and Android for tablets, the Kindle 3, the Nook, and of course a Mac, Windows PC or Linux-powered device using Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Opera.

Monocle is software zero. There’s nothing to install.

Monocle for your website

Monocle is drop-in. You can embed a ‘book’ on any webpage with two lines of code — one to include the library, one to initialize the reader. Monocle is approximately 25kb gzipped and has no dependencies on external JavaScript libraries.

Monocle is as you like it. Out of the box it simply lets you turn the pages. It’s lean. But you can add controls — page numbers, tables of contents, scrubbers (to jump to a different place in the book), font-size magnifiers — or you can code your own. The reader is rendered in CSS3; it can be made to look like pretty much anything.

Monocle is designed for EPUB. Well, ultimately it doesn’t care if the source of the text is zipped up, DRM locked down, whether your TOC is in the NCX or plucked from a YAML file — it doesn’t handle unwrapping all the packaging. But the core tenets of the standard: XHTML files with a defined linear progression, and optionally a nested hierarchy of sections or chapters — that’s supported. In full colour. What’s better than a browser for rendering XHTML?

Monocle is nobody’s business. It’s open source, under the MIT license. We built it, but nobody owns it. Help us make it better by forking it on Github.

Read some books!

Both these books will remember your place for a week or so. On an iOS device you can bookmark them to the Home Screen, and thereby read them full-screen.



by James Joyce

In this book you can see some 'page controls' — including the font-magnifier in the top-right corner, the table of contents (by tapping on the book title), and the scrubber (tap on the page number or chapter title).

A Place So Foreign

A Place So Foreign and Eight More

by Cory Doctorow

This book has a much simpler reader, with a baseline status bar, table of contents button and unconventional page numbers.

Monocle in the Wild


At Inventive Labs, we’ve built a complete ebook platform around the Monocle Reader. It’s called There are thousands of free samples of commercial titles at our partner bookshops, like


Monocle 2.2.0 was released on September 25, 2011. It’s stable, and features a number of significant improvements to speed and device compatibility. There has been particular focus on iOS 5, Android 3 and Kindle 3.

If you are working on a Monocle-based project, it’s a good idea to upgrade before Apple drops iOS 5 in early October.