I am, as a friend put it last night, part of the Apple eco-system. I have an iPod, an iMac and a macbook. Everywhere I go, I have an apple to keep me connected, but for some reason I don’t feel much connection with the iPad. Using it to read sheet music and playing board games on it sounds pretty cool but I think it would take a bit to get my head round paying for apps. Even buying iPhone apps that are more than £1 make me tense, as if it’s actually £100 a go. I’m sure in time I’ll come around though.
I mention this because I guess the iPad will be to a lot of people a reading device. I don’t like carrying a large handbag, and ones that can fit a book are on the large side for me, so I actually don’t end up reading much (as travelling is probably the only time I would be reading a physical product). There is of course also the Kindle, but I’m adverse at the moment to having ‘yet another device’ to cart round.
Last week James brought a life changer into play by showing me the Eucalyptus app on his iPhone. It, and various other apps (personally I’m using Stanza) are e-book readers for the iPhone. And if your eyes can handle it, are bloody amazing. They work by using something called Project Gutenberg. You might all be aware of this. Reading up on it I’m pretty aghast that in, what, 14/15 years of using the internet I’ve never heard of it. In essence and for this particular use, it’s a collection of lots of works of literature, articles and plays which are out of copyright (currently, books published before 1923). Wonder how supermarkets sell copies of Sense & Sensibility for 99p? It’s because they don’t have an author to pay. These works are available for free and Project Gutenberg goes about collating and digitising them. With an iPhone app that utilises it, you can download from a vast range of books and read to your heart’s content.
It’s an amazing way to really get to grips with classics that you otherwise wouldn’t find the time to read, or wouldn’t get round to because the latest Sophie Kinsella (nowadays I should probably say the latest Abby McDonald) has hit the shelves.
If you’re an iPhone-r, get on it pronto (particularly now Apple have just announced e-books in 4.0), and even if you’re not you can still download material to use on other devices. In any case tips for classics please! I’ve just done ‘The Curious Case on Benjamin Button’ and am now half way through ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
Thanks Gutenbergers, you’re amazing.