Best EPUB Reader on Mac OS X

This analysis is only for reading non-DRM EPUBs on a Mac.



Conclusion
  • For technical books, where you're likely to make lots of notes, BookReader is the only reliable way to export annotations (for example to make your notes searchable in Evernote).
  • For novels and general nonfiction, iBooks for Mac allows you to continue reading across your Macs and iOS devices which likely outweighs the need to export annotations.
  • If Clearview can fix it's EPUB text rendering and notes export bugs, it would be a better choice than BookReader for technical books.

iBooks for Mac
+ Shortcut for highlighting text, hold down CMD and select text
+ Syncs notes and annotations across Mac and iOS devices
+ Dedicated sidebar for annotations
+ Annotations are helpfully organized by TOC titles, fold away TOC titles for a more focused view
+ Annotations sidebar provides one-click ability to add a note to any existing highlight
- Does not sync EPUBs via iCloud (only notes & annotations)
- Only available on OS X Mavericks
- Cannot export or print notes or annotations

BookReader
+ Export notes and annotations to HTML in colorful table format
+ Good control over EPUB text rendering such as line spacing
+ QuickLook plugin for EPUBs, see cover & title details of any EPUB in Finder
+ High quality conversion of EPUB to PDF (via File > Print...)
- Notes are exported in reverse page order (probably a bug!)
- Popup to show annotations or TOC doesn't stay open
- Text is always in two-columns
- No sync across Macs or iOS devices
? Support for Leap Motion controller for swiping pages
Link: Priced at $10 on Mac App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bookreader/id448943039?mt=12)

Clearview
+ Sticky annotation tools i.e. highlighting tool stays active
+ EPUBs readable in single page, single page continuous, double page, double page continuous modes
+ Ability to export notes and annotations
+ Dedicated sidebar for table of contents, annotations, search, bookmarks
+ Tabbed browsing of multiple EPUBs
+ Supports EPUBs, PDFs, CHM, MOBI formats
+ Search through entire books collection
- EPUB converted to "pages" with occasional odd page breaks
- No sync across Macs or iOS devices
- Buggy when exporting notes to RTF such as linebreaks, not all notes exported (tested 11/2)
Link: Priced at $7 on Mac App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clearview/id557090104?mt=12)