Stanza is my new favorite app for the iPhone. I might go so far as saying it’s my all-time favorite app. In the past week or two that I’ve started using it I’ve read The Time Traveller and Cory Doctorow’s I, Robot, and I’ve got a bunch more ready to go. For the past five years or so I haven’t read near as much as I did when I was younger. This has bothered me. I just haven’t had the attention span to be able to sit down for more than fifteen minutes and really get absorbed into a book. I have a huge pile of books in my room too, and 98% are all unread. But, with the help of a wonderful balcony in my apartment, I’ve been able to sit outside and read for an hour at a time or for smaller amounts when I have the time throughout the day. There’s a couple features in particular that I love about Stanza:
- You don’t need a reading light, because the iPhone has a backlit screen. You can also very easily adjust the brightness with a finger swipe for reading at night.
- It has a built in dictionary, which means you don’t have to have a paper dictionary or laptop with you when you’re reading.
- Project Gutenberg. Not necessarily affiliated with Stanza, but it’s incorporated into the online catalogue so you get easy access to thousands of classic books that are no longer under copyright. This means free classics.
Stanza has sat unused on my phone for the better part of the time I’ve owned it. I never thought I would want to read books on my phone, it didn’t feel right. However now that I have actually used it to read a novel, Stanza is my killer app.