Thursday, December 16, 2010

More iPhone ramblings

Stanza One of the things I didn't mention when I wrote about my new iPhone was the fabled Retina display. The reason for that was because my initial reaction was much the same as to the other iPhone4 technology:
But there is one area where Retina comes into its own: e-books. I'm pretty lukewarm about e-books, and I certainly wasn't expecting to be impressed by e-books on a device like the iPhone. But I may have been wrong about that. Slightly.

I played with the iBooks app that comes preloaded on the iPhone, but I much prefer Stanza. This may be a personal thing and YMMV. Reading books on the iPhone wasn't something I expected to enjoy, but it felt like an obligation. I certainly don't intend to buy any commercial e-books because they are such a publisher rip-off of readers and authors, but I do plan to plunder Project Gutenberg over the holiday. However, on the day I started playing with Stanza, Cory Doctorow blogged about his self-published short story collection With a Little Help, so I headed over to the download page and loaded the EPub version into Stanza. And to my surprise, enjoyed the whole experience immensely (so yes, I did make a donation).

At the risk of offending Cory, I've read most of his books now and they're all starting to blend - but I still enjoy them enough to keep reading. Significantly, his style and content scales well to the short story format - which scales perfectly to Stanza on the iPhone. And I got a definite frisson from reading The Right Book on this device above all others.

Will this experience scale to Moby Dick or Ulysses? We'll see.