Avid Reader Theme

:warning: If you installed the theme before June 7, 2023, you will need to reinstall it using the new repository link on GitHub.

:discourse2: Summary Avid Reader is a theme focused on readability, inspired by the look of Pocket.
:hammer_and_wrench: Repository Link https://github.com/discourse/avid-reader
:open_book: New to Discourse Themes? Beginner’s guide to using Discourse Themes

Install this theme


We implemented bigger font sizes, more contrast in size between different headings, more space in between lines and a neutral background color for a better reading experience. And there are a few custom icons as well.


Theme Components

The theme includes the following theme-components:

For Versatile Banner, we are using only a few features to have a simple welcome message with a description only at the homepage. You can check the screenshot below to replicate our settings for it:

See complete settings for Versatile Banner

And here is the code we used for our welcome message + description:

<h2 class="x-title">
  Your Welcome Message
<div class="description">
    A brief description of what your Discourse is all about

Our Recommendations

If you want to have your Discourse to look just like the live preview, besides implementing the setting for Versatile Banner above, these were our choices for some of the Admin settings.

Category style

We prefer the category style to be bar instead of the default bullet. This can be changed in:

Admin > Settings > Basic Setup > category style > bar

Desktop category page style

We opted to use the ‘boxes’ option for the Categories page. This can be changes in:

Admin > Settings > Basic Setup > desktop category page style > boxes with subcategories

Category colors

We made a color palette for category colors that we feel works nicely with the rest of the theme.

See HEX Color Values

You can add these HEX values in:

Admin > Settings > Basic Setup > category colors

Remove user card background setting

The theme does have one setting which might be a bit controversial. It is called ‘hide user card background’ and what it does is make it so that user card backgrounds are just white. We feel like even with the strong overlay Discourse uses by default, user cards backgrounds sometimes are a bit noisy.
hide user card background setting

But this does limit an aspect of user self expression. We opted to leave it as a setting, up to the Admin to decide.

This is our very first theme and really the first real thing we do coding wise. We hope you enjoy it and we are more than happy to hear any feedback the community has. Thanks to Discourse for supporting this work!

:discourse2: Hosted by us? Themes are available to use on our Standard, Business, and Enterprise plans.

Last edited by @JammyDodger 2024-06-17T11:27:41Z

Check documentPerform check on document:

nice theme, easy on the eyes.


Topics don’t change color to something else, like grayish, when opened. When everything is same black it is difficult to find right away unread topics. Matter of CSS?


@Jagster thanks for pointing this out. We had tested this in Safari and Chrome while logged out and it worked fine.

But I just cleaned the browsers history to test it and it doesnt work, topics don’t change colors after visiting them. Will look into this later today or early tomorrow, thanks!

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We just updated the CSS, should work now. It was an old CSS rule that we wrote at the beginning and forgot about, ha.


Wow, I like it!

We’ll try it as the default theme in https://bunqueer.jaquerespeis.org/

The logo doesn’t look good now, we’ll change it later.

Thanks @zavorio and @senioritapolyester <3

1 Like

Is there a dark mode?

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@CamilleRoux we might make one later one but first we’d like to do a variation on the current color scheme for a slightly darker version of the theme. But its not something you would call Dark mode. Something more along the lines of the Titanium theme for Standard Notes:

I find most common Light/Dark UIs to be too hard contrast for my eyes. As @P2W expressed above, our goal was to make something easy on the eyes. A traditional dark mode might be too much. But hey, we might change our minds :cowboy_hat_face:


Has there been any progress on this color scheme? It’s really quite perfect!

1 Like

Hey! Not really, but will be out before the end of the year. We’ve been a bit busy :sweat_smile:


I’m loving this theme, but my instance just added the new sidebar feature and the notifications menu broke. Has anyone else had that issue or is it just me?

It’s because of this CSS:

.widget-component-connector {
    display: none;

I don’t know what is the original purpose of this rule in this theme.


And chat icon missing. I used this theme earlier, but I dumped it because there was other issues too — sorry, can’t remember anymore what. But I see this theme broken one.

From what I saw from Discourse’s code, I believe the cause is the same as my message above.


@zavorio there are a couple of PR on Github for you. Please approve them to fix the theme.

Would you consider continuing to update this theme in the future, or would you prefer to move on from it?

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The theme has been moved to our organization on GitHub and has been fixed.

If you installed the theme before June 7, 2023, you will need to reinstall it using the new repository link on GitHub.

(OP updated)