Reader's Corner: The iPhone Is My Preferred Ereader

iphone 002I am trying to make the effort to post something new everyday or every other day. Just don’t hold me to it if I happen to lapse a bit, ok? Anyway, as I was sitting at my desk, brainstorming for a new topic, I found myself staring at my Sony Reader and saw that it hadn’t been charged in more than a month. The battery was dead of course from non-usage.

Today, I charged her up because I remembered that I had a book I needed to read on that thing. But you know something? I haven’t been reading on my Sony lately. Why? My cellphone is just so much more convenient.

I’m not reviewing iPhone applications here but listing the reader apps that I am currently using on my iPhone. I’m sure you can find all kinds of reviews out there on google if that is what you like. This is just one reader’s opinion and experience with using the iPhone as a ereading device. I am also no technical guru and have no tech savvy whatever. I am just a reader with an opinion and an iPhone (that I hope to upgrade today at no charge for the 32GB 3 GS).

eReader App for iPhone

As much I lurve my Sony Reader, I like reading on my iPhone more. Why? Well, it doesn’t look too shabby as you can see for yourself from the pics (click on image to enlarge). The book I am currently reading on it is “The Pusher” by Ed McBain. Doesn’t it look nice? Sure the screen is small but I’m used to that having had a Pocket PC and using ubook. I’m sure the tiny print is probably what’s responsible for making me four eyed but I don’t actually mind reading on my iPhone and the experience has actually been quite pleasant.

iphone 004iphone 003

The eReader Pro app doesn’t have as much flex as say Stanza when it comes to organizing your ebooks. What I do love about eReader Pro is the ability to buy my ebooks from Fictionwise, usually the multi-formatted ebooks or the DRM’d ereader format (.pdb) and when I open the application up on my iPhone, the books are automatically downloaded to my library. All I have to do is read. That almost sounds like a Kindle, doesn’t it?

Stanza Is Still #1

iphone 007I love reading on Stanza just a tiny bit more than eReader and even added, with the help of Jane, the capability to use Calibre2Web with it which makes it full of win. I am able to have a online ebook catalog that is nicely organized and have my books at my disposal as long as my computer/laptop is running. I guess this makes my computer my own personal server. Of course, your ebooks must be converted to ePub. Use google to understand how to do that.

Calibre2Web makes it possible for me not to have to download everything to my iPhone and more importantly, it takes away the tedious job of having to download ebooks one at a time. How awesome is that? To set up Calibre2Web is no picnic and it took me approximately 4 hours to get it done but it is so worth the effort and the accompanying headache to set it up. In fact, Jane sounded like she probably could have strangled me but she was patient with me till the end. As usual.

Cellphones Make Good Reading Devices

Cellphones make good reading devices but that is just this reader’s opinion. I know some people do not like the screen size for reading. I never would have thought or said that a year ago but I strongly stand behind that statement today. Cellphones offer, what else, convenience. It’s my one stop shop for phone/music/reading/videos/movies and so on and so forth. It’s an all in one entertainment center.

In fact, all I would really need or require of my iPhone is that the battery life be superior. Apple has finally made a version of the iPhone that I am willing to upgrade to because it offers 32GB of storage space. I mean, imagine, the capacity to upload 100+ ebooks on a cellphone that I can slip into my purse or clip to my hip (I do a lot of the former). Isn’t that nice?

The Sony Reader PRS 505 is nice, too, but compared to the iPhone, it’s bulky and it doesn’t fit into my junky purse well at all; and sure, it will play your mp3’s and display pictures for you. Can you say so what? And to add insult to injury, it’s not even backlit due to the well known technological limitations inherent of E-Ink devices but you can buy a integrated reading light to resolve that issue. However, my iPhone is already backlit so, yeah. Is it fair to compare a smartphone to a dedicated reader? Probably not but I don’t much care.

I used to use Zachary Bedell’s Bookshelf but as nice as that application is, I rarely if ever use it anymore. It just doesn’t hold up to the competition, unfortunately. So, this wraps up my brief article on why my iPhone is preferred over my Sony Reader. I will still read on my Sony Reader, of course, hell, I paid for it, but it is a secondary device. The only problem I can see right now with using my iPhone is that I am locking myself into the eReader format and if Fictionwise should go belly up, my ebooks would be going with them. Maybe. Unless I learn how to strip the DRM off these ebooks but then that’s illegal.

iPhone equals convenience and it’s only natural to assume that more and more people will be reading on them. The only thing really missing is the one-click purchase and auto-download feature from your phone (not your desktop). You can use Safari and navigate to those websites to purchase your ebooks at Stanza and/or eReader Pro. I desire something akin to iTunes where you search, select and purchase as they say, “over the air.” I don’t utilize Stanza or eReader Pro to purchase ebooks. Nope. It’s a major headache. But then that discussion goes beyond the scope of my article. I’m just hear to tell you that reading on a cellphone is a lot more appealing and convenient than reading on a bulky, dedicated ereader device. I’m sure everything I’ve written thus far is not news but hey, I enjoyed writing it anyway.

About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Avid Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Reader's Corner: The iPhone Is My Preferred Ereader

  1. SarahT says:

    I read two ebooks on my iPod touch but found it headache-inducing. Literally. I’m not sure if it was due to the glare or the “turn the page” function.

    I don’t have proper digital reading device but I have read a couple of Harlequin ebooks on my PC. I like the look of books on Adobe Digital Editions as they resemble the real thing.

  2. jmc says:

    I have succumbed. The plan is to buy an iPhone this weekend, if I can fit in a trip to the Apple Store. My (very) old cell (and very stripped-down) is dying, and I want something with more functions. The reason I’m going for the iPhone rather than another smartphone is the ebook capacity. Right now I still use my eBookwise (which was absolutely worth the relative cheap price for a stand alone) and my Kindle (bought used when 2.0 was released). But I’m wondering if that will have changed in a couple of months.

  3. Nicole says:

    My only reason for not buying an iPhone is that ATT has lousy service out in rural areas, so I’m sticking with Verizon.

    Okay, and that I have a bare bones plan that doesn’t even have texting might also apply. I like the idea and lust over the iPhone from a purely tech-loving manner, but I can’t justify having one. For me, the Sony Reader is the more economical choice.

  4. Nikki says:

    Great article! I agree with everything you said. Although I have an ipod touch.

    I read most on ereader, stanza and kindle for iphone now–although I have tried them all.

    I agree with you about the “headache” factor of trying to buy ebooks. I think this an improvement that will be made in the future.

    I also agree how truly awesome and amazing it is to have all of your entertainment needs in one place. If someone would have told me about iphones 10 years ago I would have told them they were crazy!

  5. Renee says:

    Great post!
    While I’m still lusting after the iPhone, I do also used my Palm as an ebook reader. Yes, the screen is ridiculously small, but it’s so convenient, whether I’m standing in line at the market, or because I want to lie down while reading late at night.
    I’ll probably never go entirely digital for my reading material, but the convenience of being able to carry large numbers of books on such a small device is great.
    Another thing is while I like the Sony better than the Kindle (if I ever were to consider purchasing a dedicated ereader,) I understand Sony products have never gotten along with Macs (my laptop is a MacBook.) So, the iPhone is the natural choice, imo. Added to that the practicality of having 1 less device to lug around, and it’s all win!

  6. Avid Reader says:

    Thanks guys for the feedback. Much appreciated. JMC – you waited for the right time to get the iPhone. I think I am content with this version but then you know the old adage, as soon as you purchase something, it’s already outdated.

    @Nicole – yeah AT&T has a sucky reputation but my parents have been with them since they bought Houston Cellular. I had Verizon as well and loved them. I had to get over AT&T being the exculsive carrier but honestly, they are not as bad as I had feared. YMMV, obviously.

  7. Karen says:

    I LOVE reading on my iPod Touch. I buy books at Fictionwise and use eReader (currently there’s a problem with eReader and the iPhone OS 3.0 software, but they promise a fix very soon). I can also read those same books in Stanza, and Stanza has allowed me to download over 100 free (mostly out-of-copyright classic) books from sources such as the Gutenburg Project. My brother bought a Kindle this spring because the iPhone was too small for him, but I can’t imagine carrying around something that large (and spendy).

  8. Jaci Burton says:

    I absolutely love reading on my iPhone, and I never thought I would. I was certain the device would be too small, and my already not-so-great vision would suffer. Frankly, I was the first to admit that reading on it was so easy, doesn’t bother my eyes at all, and now wherever I go, I have books, because wherever I go, so does my cell phone. It rocks my world. 🙂

  9. Joy says:

    Do you wear glasses? I need “reading” glasses for computers and smartphone but not for the Sony. Just trying to compare con­ve­nience factors.

  10. Avid Reader says:

    Joy: Do you wear glasses? I need “read­ing” glasses for com­put­ers and smart­phone but not for the Sony. Just trying to com­pare con­ve­nience factors.

    I wear glasses yes but not for reading. I have poor night vision and use them only when I drive. Another thing – I do a lot of reading at night and since the iPhone is already backlit, it is mucho convenient for me. I do have a itty bitty night light to clip to my Sony Reader but again, iPhone is much more convenient.

  11. Joy says:

    Gotcha. I rarely read in low light – and can’t read backlit screens for longer than 10min without my glasses else I get headaches.

    I want an iPhone but have so far resisted – in part because and want a real keyboard but also because I don’t think I’d use it as a reader.

  12. Olivia says:

    I just bought an iPod Touch because of the eReader capabilities. I cannot abide buying a ebook reader to use for just one application. My iPod has so many uses PLUS reading books. Even if cell phone service is not great, consider the iPod touch, for music, video and reading books.

  13. Jean K says:

    I find myself using both my iPod Touch (soon to be an iPhone) and my Sony Reader – but for somewhat different purposes.

    I tend to read fiction on my iPod Touch, and non-fiction on the Reader.

    I work for a software company with lots and lots of documentation that exists as PDF files. I keep this documentation on the Reader, too. I also have technical computer books on the Reader. Oreilly, for instance, has the Head First series, which is very graphic in nature, so they publish it as straight PDF files instead of the reflowable ePub. I’m more likely to be in well-lit environments when reading this kind of stuff, though. I’m also more likely to use the reader at home or in the office, and the iPod while on the go.

    The only bummer about both devices is the beginning and ending of flights when you are below 10000 feet. I fly quite frequently, and not being able to use either reader for even these short periods of time is annoying.

  14. Phyl says:

    I starred this entry in my reader to come back to because I had an ipod touch on the way to me in the mail. I finally got it, but have only had time to load some music on it. I have nearly 200 books on my Fictionwise bookshelf, about a third of them still unread. Of those, most are in mobipocket secure format. If I can figure out how to strip the DRM I wonder if I can read them on my touch. But even if I can’t I have plenty of non DRM’d books I can load and I can move forward with ereader for new books. Anyhow all this to say thanks for a timely post. This, and the responses, is extremely helpful.

  15. Andy says:

    Just to add to the fictionwise belly-up thing, as I’m sure many an avid ereader knows now, Barnes and Noble bought up fictionwise, so the chances of them going belly up are suddenly a lot slimmer 😉 Now if only Apple would hurry up and approve the updated ereader that WORKS with iphone 3.0 😛

  16. Avid Reader says:

    Andy: Just to add to the fic­tion­wise belly-​up thing, as I’m sure many an avid ereader knows now, Barnes and Noble bought up fic­tion­wise, so the chances of them going belly up are sud­denly a lot slim­mer Now if only Apple would hurry up and approve the updated ereader that with iphone 3.0 😛

    Well, the fix finally came…some 8 days later. And yeah, I know BN bought Fictionwise and did you know that BN actually had their own ebook store before closing it?

  17. Gavin says:

    I also use my iPhone extensively for eBooks. I use to use eReader, until I found Stanza, which I think is better overall. One of its advantages is that it only loads a chapter at a time which makes changing fonts, themes, orientation much faster. I also like the way it tells you how many percent of the book you’ve read.

    If you don’t like buying from within eReader or Stanza, you can always load the site on the iPhone Safari application and buy using that. The fictionwise and ereader sites are iphone-friendly formated.

  18. bahamia says:

    I have been pondering whether to by an iPhone, an ipod touch or a Sony Reader. This post has helped me make the decision to bite the bullet an go with the iPhone. Thanks.

  19. Avid Reader says:

    Gavin: The fic­tion­wise and ereader sites are iphone-​friendly formated.

    Will have to try it out one day. Thanks Gavin.

    @bahamia – glad I could help 🙂 You need to let me know how you like reading on your new iPhone once you get started.

  20. animemiz says:

    Hmm I see from your review that you are an iphone user.. the issue that I have is that the finger touch of the iphone or the ipod touch.. otherwise I’ll go get an ipod touch myself.

    But it is neat to know that you also purchase books from fictionwise.. ^_^

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