Thursday, March 05, 2009

kindle me this

That's right, I own an iPhone. So what?

In my increasingly complicated life, it is a comforting constant -- calendar, e-mail device, camera and podcast library all in one. Ironically, the phone part of my iPhone is probably the least used, though that will change as my kids get a bit older.

I promise you I am not one of those iPhoners who play ridiculous body contorting video games on the subway. Seriously people, you're in public.

Awhile back, I browsed through the iPhone app store and discovered eReader, an inexpensive application that turns my phone into a book. I already use the device to listen to audiobooks, but now I can also read full texts. I downloaded The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper -- a hole in my North American classics reading and, I'm discovering, a fascinating text with all sorts of cultural questions and challenges wrapped into it. My favorite feature of the eReader (other than my ability to make the print size gigantic) are the endnotes, which appear as numbered hyperlinks. I touch one of the numbers, read the related citation or information, touch the return arrow and am brought right back to the endnoted section of the main text. Oh the wasted time and energy of my student days spent physically flipping back and forth in old fashioned paper books. No more!

Yesterday it was announced that wants my twenty minutes per day of commuter iPhone reading time, and it's willing to fight eReader for it. Amazon has launched a Kindle application for the iPhone, for free. I now do not have to buy a Kindle (are they even available in Canada?) to read Kindle formatted books, and with Amazon's recent reversal on the text-reading feature of the Kindle I am more willing to give their format a look-see. So, let the electronic book format wars begin.

I'll report back once I'm out of the northern New York woods of 1757.

No comments: