November 2, 2009

Reading ebooks on the iPhone

So the reason I've been reading Dracula is the wonderful Classics app on my iPhone. The look and feel of the thing is incredible, and I love that I can read it in bed with the lights off. The pages are a lovely cream colour and I can flick them, silently, with a stroke of my finger. There's no difficulty in positioning the thing to see, as there would be with a hardcover, with my head on the pillow. If I stop turning pages, it shuts itself off. And it totally removes the need for a book light, which has already come in handy for me while sharing a hotel room earlier this month.

Thus far I haven't seen the appeal of e-readers (why would I want to start carrying yet another device?), but there is something wonderful about always having something to read right in my phone. For one thing, it makes my purse a lot lighter. It isn't the first e-reader I got for my iPhone, but so far it's the best. And since I downloaded it, there have been a bunch of similar applications released. I'm probably going to get something called the "Charles Dickens collection" next, because that will definitely be easier to lug around than the actual novels.

When it comes to buying e-books rather than paper books, I don't know where I stand. Everything I've been reading so far has been in the public domain. I'm so much of a bibliophile that I can't imagine not wanting the actual object, but possibly I would consider it for trashy reads -- say if I was somehow dying to read the new Dan Brown or something else I wouldn't want to actually ever put on a shelf. But we'll see.

But anyway, hurray for e-readers on the iPhone! From the looks of things, it sounds like Apple is well-positioned to take over the e-reader market. According to a story today on Mashable, book application downloads for the the iPhone have even outstripped game downloads.


Jonathan Ball said...

Another advantage of the iPhone is that it is actually possibly to get books on it. A lot of people don't realize the problems with e-book readers and DRM, which can become a real problem if you live in Canada. Another reason I want an iPhone!

nichole mcgill said...

The Palm Pre (the "iPhone meets Blackberry" smartphone) also has an e-book application which I'm looking forward to downloading. I agree with you Saleema, that people won't want to carry another electronic device around with them. Palm Pres and iPhones have touch screens whereas certain e-readers do not. That tactile possibility is important. As for reading on cellphones, I've been enjoying giong to They've been publishing many Canadians lately. Cheers.

Claire Cameron said...

I want to be able to store all the non-fiction I read for research on my iPhone. My house isn't big enough.

I have the Stanza Reader. Must try others. Fun.

Vanessa said...

Yay for the iphone reader! I ended up getting stranded at an appointment for hours and forgot to bring something to read. Instead I downloaded a Stephen King novella and flicked the pages until my time came.

saleema said...

@Jonathan As much as I love my iPhone for its apps, I kind of wish I had a phone with a proper keyboard...

@nichole You're right about the tactile aspect -- I hadn't thought of that. I assumed it was an aspect of all the e-readers out there. (Nice to know Palm is still in the game, also.) And thanks for the tip about I'm going to check them out!

@Claire Wouldn't that be nice! I guess it would need to have some kind of note-taking/marking-up function.

@Vanessa Which novella? Any good? You know, I've still never read any Stephen King. I keep meaning to.