iPhone Life magazine

Book Reader - a nice read, but not all that it's advertised

The graphics on Book Reader are stunning when you first turn it on. The sample book included on the app beautifully displays on a wooden shelf and appears to have a gilt-edge, leather cover. Tap to select the book and it opens to an antique white page with easy-to-read text. It’s very pleasant on the eyes. The pages turn in a way that simulates page turning in a print book. There are even some black and white illustrations included in the sample, which adds to the reading pleasure.

I easily changed the size and style of the font to suit my need for a slightly larger font. The night mode made it easy to read at night.

Book Reader features an easy-to-use page locator at the bottom of the screen where you can drag a bar across the bottom of the screen to locate the precise page you want to read in the book. A bookmark feature is also included to tuck in where you left off. These two features make it extremely easy to find a specific page in the book, unlike some of the other book readers I have used.

I was able to easily download a book from Project Guttenberg and upload other books from my free Readdle Storage account.

Book Reader advertises that it supports TXT, FB2, RTF, EPUB, HTML, and PDF files; but not eReader, iSilo, MobiPocket, Kindle, or Plucker e-books.

So, I uploaded two PDFs that I created using Word and Acrobat Reader. This is where Book Reader needs work.

The app did not include any of the illustrations from the book downloaded from Project Gutenberg, nor from my PDF documents. Even more disappointing, there was no text formatting applied to my PDFs. So, all the app actually did was extract the text and reflow it into a screen the size of my iPhone. Useful in a few cases, maybe, but certainly not what I expected. I can do that using cut and paste and an email.

The next problem I had was in deleting books. After importing several books that I no longer wanted in the app, I deleted them. However, the app leaves blank books sitting on your top shelf in place of these deleted books. These pile up quickly and are quite annoying. The developer says this bug will be corrected in the next upgrade.

When asked about the issue on text formatting and graphics, the developer was unable to assure me that this issue would be available in future releases. It appears that what it does, is what it does. It's a good book reader, but not useful for uploading other documents unless you just want the text.

For those interested, it does not support text –to-speech.

Disclosure: I received this app free from Readdle for review purposes.

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