Review: The Stanza ereader, on iPhone

A handful of days ago I still thought it would be some time before I read an ebook. Main reasons being a) I like the feel of paper books, and b) I don’t own an ebook reader – like the Kindle – and don’t enjoy reading on screen; the back light kills my eyes.

Then Cherryh released Heavy Time and Hellburner as ebooks, though Closed Circle. Hellburner is one of my favourite A/U books, so I decided I’d look into ebook reader software for my iPhone.

It wasn’t easy to find anything useful, but after some research I decided to try Stanza, from Lexcycle. By then I had already purchased the aforementioned books, the files sleeping on my laptop, unused, and as expected the tricky part was to get the files from there and onto the phone. iTunes was not helping, refusing to accept the files. Lexcycle had the “from desktop to phone” question down in it’s FAQ, though, thankfully, and after finding that the rest was easy.

So, what about the reader software? Not having used any other modern ebook reader software I can’t compare it with others but to me Stanza held up well. Once I had figured out how to transfer the files they were easy to find, and easy to access. The flipping of pages were intuitive, and it was easy to change both font and font size. There are two modes – a daytime and a night time mode, utilising different templates for showing the book, and both templates are easy to adjust to the colour scheme of roughly your own preference – no free choice of colours, but enough to go around.
It was also easy to adjust the back light, to annotate and to bookmark, and there’s also a dictionary available (didn’t use it so can’t comment on it).
Throughout the read you can follow your progress on the discreet but readable progress bar, at the bottom of the book.

The unintended bonus was I could read in bed without the light on.

All in all an enjoyable experience. I’ll definitely read use it to read other books.


2 thoughts on “Review: The Stanza ereader, on iPhone

  1. hi there,

    try calibre by kovid goyal. it´s free, supports osx, linux and windows and has insane functionality and he updates the program like crazy :)

    it not only supports a big variaty of devices like nooks, kindles, ipads, iphones but also is able to feed stanza with rss-feeds and upload directly to your device

    after u installed the prog be sure to start to start the content server it allows you to browse your ebook collection on your computer over your wlan

    in stanza add the computer and voila u can download your ebooks

    url as follows

    regarding iphone/ipad with itunes just convert the book to epub and drag it into itunes. calibre is good for that as well. it stores converted ebooks in a directory on your computer. just drag them over to itunes from there if the upload from within the program shouldn´t work

    pdfs are natively supported by ibooks. just drag them into itunes, sync, and after some time they´ll show up in ibooks. didn´t try pdfs with the iphone, ipad is my choice here due to screen size

    hope you find this helpful


  2. At the time I tested Stanza there was no way to drag’n’drop ebooks into iTunes.
    I’ll also add that almost all software of this type is hard to use for the non-programmer, mainly because of bad user interfaces… and anything that requires the user to start a server is automatically filed under that heading ;-)

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