Put a sign that says “Free” on anything from a broken Beta VCR to a basket of kittens, and I’ll probably take it home. When I came across Lexcycle’s e-Reader Stanza in the App Store, I grabbed it, even though I seldom read lengthy docs on my iPhone. I’m glad I did.
Stanza is an e-reader à la, Amazon Kindle. It supports a wide variety of e-book formats: DRM-free Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket, Microsoft LIT, PalmDoc, Word, RTF, HTML, PDF and yet others. Stanza iPhone/iPod touch supports e-Reader with or without DRM and ePub without DRM.
You can download e-books from a variety of sources from online books sellers such as Fictionwise, book publishers, best-sellers lists, newspapers & magazine publishers and other sources. One category I particularly like is “Now a Major Motion Picture,” which consists of books that have been made into movies. I like to read “movie books” so I can compare the author’s vision with that of the director or scriptwriter’s.
I paid $0.99 a couple of weeks ago for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tales of the Jazz Age, a collection of short stories that includes “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I could have gotten it free using Stanza had I only known. At least I know enough now not to drop $7 for the movie and $5 for a bucket of overly salted popcorn.
With Stanza books are stored in a “Library,” and you can sort them by title, authors, subjects and your latest reads. You can create categories for your books in the library too. If you are a fan of Jane Austin, for example, you might create a category just for her books.
You can flip through titles in landscape mode as though they were CD album covers. You can choose to read titles in portrait or landscape mode. Your settings for each book are: change type face, font, background colors, line spacing and more, just like other e-books I’ve looked. Stanza so bookmarks pages.
For me, Stanza’s most outstanding feature is that I can access some 50,000 copyright-free books and many thousands of other publications at Project Gutenberg. I don’t have to pay a dime for all the reference materials I could possibly want and access them on my iPhone.
Lexcycle also offers Stanza in Mac and PC versions that enable you to transfer your e-books from desktop to palmtop. Neither will run reliably on 64-bit machines, according to the Stanza Web site.
Stanza’s Setting features include auto-load last book, dim screen when idle, notification, cover, display thumbnails and a few others.
My only beef is that Stanza can be slow to download titles, and switch between them in your library and, on occasion, when going from one page to the next.
The price for Stanza is right, though. Besides, my wife says I can keep it.
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category: Reference