I got an email form Amazon recently (as is usual) touting the latest iPhone application by Amazon, called Kindle for iPhone. This was intriguing because, it meant I could try out something like the Kindle for free on my iPhone instead of sinking over $350 into it.
So, I go to the app store and start reading the reviews. Lot’s of people love it. Some don’t. The ones who aren’t all goo-goo
over it seem to consistently mention two other programs, Stanza, and eReader both of which are also free. I don’t particularly like the idea of reading on a screen rather than paper, but I figured I’d give it a try just to see what it’s like.
I was not prepared for how easy these products make it to read. Don’t want to flip pages, then put it on auto-scroll (at what ever speed is comfortable). Don’t understand the meaning of a word, then on eReader you can tap the word and look it up immediately in a dictionary. Don’t like black ink on white paper (virtually speaking), then change it (perhaps to parchment). Want the margins justified or ragged… change it. The only thing I could determine that Kindle could do and the software couldn’t, was that it could read to you.
After much experimenting, it became clear that the software that was easiest to use, and thereby facillitate reading (and even encourage reading), was eReader. Not only was it easy to buy books, but find free ones as well. Even stuff available on the NY Times bestseller list. And though eReader doesn’t have every book priced at $9.99 (like the Kindle), there are plenty of books below that price… especially given the numerous discounts.