The last entry in this section is Stanza, which is the most feature-rich expandable eBook reader available for the iPhone, and while it may not sync with the Kindle 2, it does just about everything else. To start, the main library gives you full-color thumbnails of each of your books. This helps replicate the feeling of actually browsing through a bookstore. To make it even better, when you turn your iPhone sideways, you get your library in coverflow view, just like in iTunes.
Like eReader, Stanza is highly customizable. It offers numerous settings that help provide the best possible reading experience. Unique to Stanza is a feature which allows you to slide your finger up or down on the screen to adjust the brightness. Better still, if you are reading in the car, you can activate night viewing mode to avoid distracting the driver.
Stanza’s best feature, however, is its bookstore access. While it does not connect with Amazon’s library, it does connect with 15 other eBook stores on the Internet, providing you with access to well over 100,000 eBooks. Stanza connects with Project Gutenberg (with over 25,000 free eBooks), Fictionwise, newspapers and magazines, and quite a few selections from Feedbooks. You can download books over the air or through a PC/Mac application and can transfer virtually any document directly to the iPhone app. Overall, it’s a fantastic app that provides an excellent reading experience.
Stanza’s parent company, Lexcycle (lexcycle.com) was also recently purchased by Amazon.com. Add this to the recent purchase of eReader by Barnes & Noble, and you should find an extremely exciting future for eBooks coming soon.
- Reader free, price of eBooks varries
In addition to the expandable eBook reader systems mentioned above, there are numerous standalone readers available in the App Store. I call these “closed readers” since the book and its reader is downloaded as a complete package. Many of these books are classics that can be downloaded and read for free with Stanza or eReader. However, for as little as $0.99, you get a well-designed package and avoid the hassle of having to download and unlock the eBook separately. Unfortunately, each book is a discrete app, which means you cannot easily build a library this way. There are dozens of closed reader eBook publishers, but a few stand out.