Ebooks on the iPhone

For someone who spends a lot of time thinking and writing about ebooks and ebook readers, I’ve spent a shamefully small amount of time actually reading ebooks and using ebook readers.  But today I got to take a look at an ebook on an iPhone for the first time.

It’s not terrible.  I should have asked if it was using Stanza or something else.  It was a plain white screen with some controls on the side that disappeared after a few moments, leaving me alone with the text.  I had a little trouble with the scrolling, but I suspect an experienced iPhone user wouldn’t.

The screen is a bit small.  This whole experience started while waiting for a meeting to begin.  My coworker was reading something on the phone that required both horizontal and vertical scrolling.  It looked pretty awkward.  But it started the conversation, and then he showed me an ebook he had on the phone.  He doesn’t read much on it, and unfortunately the meeting started before I could really grill him.

But I can see that some people would be perfectly happy to read books on an iPhone (or an iPod Touch, for which Stanza is also available).  It’s not paper, or even eInk, but it is something you’re likely to have with you all the time, so the extra convenience will make up for many of the shortcomings.

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