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Old 12-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #1
injapan
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Is the iPhone too small for reading ebooks

I am not a huge reader but I would like to have an e-reader
and my cell phone is no spring chicken

my brother suggested buying an iPhone (4) to kill 2 birds with 1 stone
sorry if this subject as been covered, but I would be interested to know just what its like using the iPhone as an e-reader?

I was thinking of a Sony PRS-650? .....hhhhmmm?

Last edited by poohbear_nc; 12-22-2010 at 03:33 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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I have an iPod Touch. There are many apps available for eBook reading, and the iPod Touch/iPhone make quiet nice eBook readers if one is reading on-the-go for short periods of time. I wouldn't use it as my main eBook reader, but it's nice to have it around.

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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I read entire books on a Touch 4 without problem. (I use that instead of my iPhone, because my music, audiobooks and books would overload my phone.)

Your eyesight and comfort are what count for your use, though. In your place, I'd wanna take a gadget home and test drive for long stretches. I'd buy and return if needed.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injapan View Post
I am not a huge reader but I would like to have an e-reader
and my cell phone is no spring chicken

my brother suggested buying an iPhone (4) to kill 2 birds with 1 stone
sorry if this subject as been covered, but I would be interested to know just what its like using the iPhone as an e-reader?

I was thinking of a Sony PRS-650? .....hhhhmmm?
Ultimately, just you can judge and decide how comfortable reading on an iPhone could be, it also depends of how long your reading sessions are. If you ask for my opinion, I would suggest invest your money on a dedicated e-reader instead. An iPhone is kind of small device for that.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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Thanks very much
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:50 AM   #6
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I have an iPhone 4. Although I read for many years on PDAs with similar-sized screens, having used eInk readers with 6" screens for the last few years, I honestly wouldn't want to go back to reading a lot on the iPhone. It's fine for occasional use, but not (for me personally) as a "main" reader. It is, however, a superb device for mobile internet; that, and playing MP3s, is the main use for mine.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:53 AM   #7
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I read on my Kindle, iPhone 4 and iPad. They are easy on **my** eyes in that order.

The Kindle display is my favourite and feels most like a book. With the reduction in price I felt I could justify having one just to sit by the bed.

I use my iPhone 4 when I am out and about, stuck in a queue or on a bus. If I could only have one device, that would be it.

The iPad is lovely for magazines and newspapers. Books are fine, but it is such a big device that I find the volume of backlit screen (even on lowest brightness settings) leave an imprint on the back of my eye for a minute after I turn the light out.

The Sony 505 was my all time favourite reader, but I read lots and lots of Kindle books these days. I can't be bothered with DRM stripping when the Kindle software is so ubiquitous, so it's bye bye Sony
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:33 AM   #8
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No. You'll get used to it.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #9
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I think it totally depends on the person. I have an iPod Touch that I use as my only ereader. I use the night mode and turn the brightness down on it and it doesn't bother my eyes at all. But it's different for other people. I have read probably 50 books on it since I bought it in March. I love that I have it EVERYWHERE I go. It fits in my pocket and no matter where I am at I can read it if I have unexpected reading time. I can get all different kinds of reading apps for it and even read library ebooks on it. As soon as the iPhone comes to my area, I will replace my iPod Touch with the iPhone.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:35 PM   #10
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I think it totally depends on the person. I have an iPod Touch that I use as my only ereader. I use the night mode and turn the brightness down on it and it doesn't bother my eyes at all. But it's different for other people. I have read probably 50 books on it since I bought it in March. I love that I have it EVERYWHERE I go. It fits in my pocket and no matter where I am at I can read it if I have unexpected reading time. I can get all different kinds of reading apps for it and even read library ebooks on it. As soon as the iPhone comes to my area, I will replace my iPod Touch with the iPhone.
What she said. I'm currently reading Tom Clancy's "Dead or Alive" which is 858 pages of spy thriller on my iPod touch and not having any issues.

Although I would consider myself a fan of both Bluefire and OMC for their ability to download library books, I still use Stanza the most to read books on my touch simply because of the ability to scale the size of the font to whatever I need at any given time. I read for 20 minutes while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym the other day. I could do that because I could make the font big enough to read. Worked great.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #11
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One nice thing about the iPhone: I've got both Stanza and Dropbox on it, so I can access my complete library from anywhere, anytime. The reading experience isn't all that bad, either!
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:10 PM   #12
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I have both the iTouch 4G and Sony 650. I seldom use the 650 anymore. I need reading glasses (I'm 69 yrs old) with either device, so the smaller screen doesn't mean much. I did not buy the iTouch (for our purposes, the same as an iPhone) to read with, it just sorta happened.

I am in complete agreement with the above comments about its usefulness. I read at night with the colors reversed and sometimes do so in daylight as well. The letters are sharper and more clear on the 4G than my 650.

I can read all the ebook formats simply by selecting the proper bit of software, all of which are free. I use iBooks, Stanza (favorite), Google Books, Bluefire, etc. Apple has allowed all of its competitors access to its gadgets, even Amazon. No one else seems to be doing that and I applaud them for for it.

The Apple "Retina" display screen is remarkable; there seems to be no 'pixelation' effects at all. It is sharper and clearer than anything I have used. I can read for hours and not suffer eye strain. If Apple made a 7" version, I'd buy one.

On the other hand, the Sony PRS-650 has some clear advantages, at least for me. I can read it in direct sunlight, in fact: the brighter the better. It has a useful dictionary. I can highlight, annotate and make notes which are useful things when I choose to use it for proofing & editing some bit of writing. It can go without charging for a week of use while the iTouch seldom makes it past two days.

Since you're going to buy a new phone anyway, I strongly recommend the iPhone 4G and a small collection of free apts with which to read anything you'd like.

NOTE: Be sure to get a "4G" version with the new screen.

Last edited by Joe Minton; 12-22-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:19 PM   #13
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I used my iTouch for quite some time and had no problems with it. I originally used it in Day mode but recently I switched to Night and prefer it that way. The black background with white writing seems a lot easier on the eyes IMHO.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:07 PM   #14
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I read pretty much exclusively on my iPhone 3GS these days, despite having a Sony PRS-300 and an Android tablet. I have two suggestions for reading comfort:
  1. Use a reader with a "night" mode, or one that will allow you to change the color scheme to white-on-black. For this I most prefer Stanza with its huge amount of user customization, but others like Bluefire are acceptable. Kindle's grey-on-black mode doesn't provide enough contrast for me to read comfortably, and iBooks outright fails without any night mode at all. Apple seems to think using the "invert colors" accessibility option is sufficient, which is completely wrong.
  2. Books with excessive margins need to be edited. The iPhone's screen is small enough that you can read comfortably with text going edge-to-edge. Unfortunately a lot of book editors seem to think that 1em left and right margins are a good idea, which on an iPhone wastes a ton of space and gives you maybe 3-4 words per line max (depending on font size). If you're reading DRMed books, you'll either need to get proficient at liberating them so you can remove excessive margins or you'll just have to deal with ebook editors who don't "get it".

Stanza is by far my preferred ebook reader, but BlueFire is coming up strong as a close second. Once they add in generic OPDS support and a lot more formatting options (must have more fonts!), BF could beat Stanza for my preferred ebook reader.

Last edited by toddos; 12-23-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:09 PM   #15
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I love reading on my iPhone.

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