After a mild case of Kindle envy and rationalizing — I don’t really need another gadget, especially not a Kindle, and I actually like having physical books — I compromised and downloaded an iPhone app called Stanza. It’s basically an e-book reader.
My first misgiving was that it would be too hard to read a book on the iPhone. The text would either be too small to read comfortably, or so big that I’d have to turn the page every two seconds. Or the backlight would hurt my eyes. None of this was true. I finished reading Benjamin Button in a dark room waiting for a show to start and had no problems.
Stanza comes with customizable options such as text color, type face, type size, etc. One option that I wish they had included was a dimmer switch for screen brightness. It’s a pain to go to the iPhone settings menu to adjust screen brightness everytime I want to read something in a different light.
One of the best things about Stanza is the huge library of free books to download. Sure, the latest New York Times bestseller isn’t going to be free, but there are tons of older books released to the public domain that I’ve been meaning to read.
I read my first romance novel on it. Although I guess that’s not something I should be declaring publicly. At least it’s less embarassing then purchasing one from the rack near the supermarket checkout line.
Stanza isn’t going to replace my bookshelf just yet, but it’s a handy app to have for when I forget to bring my book, or if I just want something quick to read while I’m waiting for something. And the price is right: FREE!