Lighten Your Load with eBooks
There are many things I love about my iPhone and iPad, but one of my favorites is their function as ereaders. It is great for when you have a few minutes of downtime while you are out. It is also great for traveling. As a kid it would always be hard to decide which books to bring on vacation. Now I can read some of the books I want without my luggage getting too heavy. Many eBook apps also accept PDF files which expands the amount of reading material you can hold on your phone.
Some of the appeal of eBooks is the ones that are legally freely available. Project Gutenberg can help you start your free eBook collection. The text shown on the phone above is from the Wizard of Oz, a book I downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
eBook Store Apps
The Kindle app lets you read Kindle books on a variety of devices. The obvious advantage of the Kindle app is the large collection including a large collection of free ebooks. Some of these free eBooks are public domain and some are more recent and put up by the writer or publisher.
The interface is simple and it has a nice ability to use white text on a dark background. This ‘nighttime’ style can be easier on the eyes in low lighting. There is also a sepia version. To set this color scheme open an ebook and click on the “Aa” button at the top.
The iBooks store can be accessed through iTunes on your desktop or in the app on your iPhone or iPad. Books can be divided into collections including Books, Purchased Books, and PDFs. As with the Kindle app clicking on “Aa” lets you set the font and themes. Themes include book, full screen, and scroll. Like the Kindle app it has white, sepia, and night options. You can also adjust the brightness.
PDF Reading Apps
PDF Expert by Reedle is one of the best apps for reading and working with PDF files. It also works with text documents, videos, music, and word-processing documents. If you want a bit of fun it also works with animated gifs.
PDF expert allows you to highlight text, create notes, underline words, and save bookmarks. Like Kindle and iBooks there is a ‘nighttime mode’ option. There are several ways to get documents into PDF Expert. You can copy files from a Mac or PC using WiFi, save email attachments, or retrieve them from Dropbox or other storage option. The app can be password protected in case. This might be a good idea if the PDF is from work or other personal information. This app is $9.99, but it has gone on sale in the past.
Good Reader is a cheaper alternate with the iPad version costing $4.99, but still does an excellent job. The transfer methods are largely the same as for PDF Expert. Some people will find the auto-sync particularly helpful. If your document pictures split two pages you can view both at the same time with a double page view. You can zoom in 50 times. There is also an easy to use text search and you can search by bookmarks or page number. As with the others