FBReader is a free e-book reader which is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, Blackberry, Symbian and other platforms.
This free app supports many e-book formats like epub or mobi and even simple text files. It comes with lots of options for customizations like Day/Night mode, Change Font, Backgrounds, Third-party dictionary support, CSS styling and etc.
If you are using FBReader on an Android device like a smart phone or tablet, you might have noticed the Speak+ option available in the app. This feature comes for free and when enabled, it allows your device’s to read the eBook file to you using a Talk-to-Speech voice.
It works like an audiobook but the difference is you can follow the text the virtual voice is reading.
If you wish to enable Speak+ option or Talk-to-Speech on FBReader, here’s what you need to do.
First, it is important to download the FBReader TTS+ plugin. It is available at Google Play Store. It’s free as well. It’s just a small file.
Wait for the installation to finish then proceed to the next step below.
Talk-to-Speech Engine Installation
Note: For the purpose of this guide, we’ll use IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ as an example. If you have a preferred TTS engine, then feel free to use it. Some TTS engines available online are paid versions.
You can try IVONA if this is your first-time to install a TTS engine on your Android device so you can get an idea about how it works. It’s currently in beta and it’s free.
Open the Google Play Store app on your Android device. Search for “IVONA Kendra US English beta”. IVONA UK English is also available. Just search for it if you want to use it.
Download and install it. The file size is more than 100MB.
On your Android device, go to Settings > Voice Input and Output >Text-to-Speech Settings > Default Engine
Select Ivona Text-to-Speech HQ. See screenshot above.
Other settings that can be configured are Speech Rate and Language. Do not forget to enable Ivona Text-to-Speech HQ under Engines section.
Enable Speak+ on FBReader
Open an e-book on FBReader. Press the Menu key on your device to pull up the application toolbar. Go to More > Speak+
Wait for the TTS toolbar to appear. Adjust the rate, pitch and volume to your liking. The voice will start reading as soon as the Speak+ option is enabled.
Tap the last icon to the right of the toolbar to minimize it.
Other tool icons are self-explanatory. Use it to pause, start, stop, fast forward and backward.