Given the screen size of 3.5 inch for the iPhone, the question on alot of people’s minds are: other than music and playing games, does the iPhone make a good reading device?

For that matter, it is hard to come to a conclusion. I may say that 3.5 inch is good enough for me, but the criteria of buying an iPhone and making reading a big part of how you use an iPhone must be determined most of the time by

  1. Pleasure of reading on a 3.5 inch screen
  2. Ability to support existing ebook formats

For (1) it comes down to how well the application in iPhone renders the eBook and intangible things such as page turning, bookmarks, last read location and search capability.

The folks who have numerous ebooks that they read on the desktop,windows mobile and palm will need to know (2)

This article will try its best to answer these questions

To read or access Amazon Kindle on your iPhone

Cost:App is FREE. Books need to purchase

There is a Kindle Application for iPhone that would allow an iPhone user to

  1. read Kindle format books
  2. Shop for hundreds of thousands of books at
  3. wireless transfer your books to the iPhone or iPod Touch
  4. read the beginning of any Kindle books before you buy
  5. download the Kindle books you already own for free
  6. tap and hold to create highlight. these will be backup and synchronize through Whispersync with your other Kindle device
  7. read in portrait or landscape

I am not a big fan of Kindle but if you have an Amazon account with tons of ebooks based on Kindle format, you can read them on the iPhone.

The advantage here is that your last read bookmark is sync via Whispersync so that wherever you read you will know where it is.

This will be great when you have access to Kindle App across iPhone, tablet and ebook readers next time (although i really am questioning why you would need so many devices)

To read or access Barnes and Noble from iPhone


Cost:Apps are FREE.Books to Purchase

There are 2 apps provided by Barnes and Noble here. The B&N Bookstore is a store front that enables you to

  1. Search for books
  2. Find your closest Barnes & Noble,get maps and directions and see which stores offer cafes and free AT&T wireless access
  3. Take a picture and find out more about that book you have just taken.

The B&N eReader enables you to

  1. Read books purchased off Barnes and Noble
  2. Adjustable Text Sizes
  3. Multiple Font choices
  4. Online backup of your library of books.

You will need a Barnes and Noble account to have these service. Its a free sign up but this i feel is more for US users.

the thing i like about Barnes and Noble is that at least their format is ePub format which is quite open and universal.

So if you have an IPhone and a Nook, which is Barnes and Noble ebook reader, then you are pretty much covered here.

To Read Portable Format or PDF books on your iPhone

This is the most prevalent format and many of you have

  1. Work documents
  2. Books
  3. Magazines
  4. Financial Reports
  5. Brochures

In this format. This is a very inefficient format and it is more for printing rather than reading. Nevertheless many people can find full books in PDF format.

One of the best softwares out there that enables reading large PDF books is GoodReader

Cost:App cost 99 cents. books are your own PDF,TXT books.

It enables you to read TXT,DOC,HTML and PDF format well on it. It is not free but cost 99cents (the best 99 cents you will ever spend on the App Store)

You can wirelessly transfer your books from your computer over to the iPhone or iPod Touch.

I written an extensive guide on GoodReader and how you can use it to read PDF books. Do take a look. Its one of my star articles.

To Read PDB, EPUB, PRC, LIT,PDF,TXT,RTF,AZW on your iPhone

So what about reading EPUB, LIT,PRC  which are the prevalent alternative ebook format?

STANZA will do the trick.

Cost: App is FREE! Books provided by you

In a nutshell, STANZA is the best free reading app for iPhone. Take a look at this section to see how many format it is able to support.

List of supported formats

Amazingly it supports EPUB, Kindle DRM free, Microsoft LIT, Mobipocket and PDF formats!

it is such a good reader that Amazon bought over Lexcycle, the company behind STANZA. I dunno what they plan to do with it but they better not destroy this great app.

Basically with this you will be able to read any books you find on the internet. Well most of them

Take a look at this video how STANZA works:

How do you transfer your book?

You need to download and install a desktop application. [Download here >>]

Once you have installed the desktop application, you can open your book on the desktop. Go to the options to enable sharing. This will make your desktop stanza searchable to the iPhone

Go to your iPhone Stanza app and go to Get Books.There you will see a section called Computers Sharing Books you would see the name of your Desktop computer.

You can then download the book. its that easy. Watch the video above for further detail.


On a 3.5 inch device with awesome reading apps like STANZA and GoodReader, you are able to cover all format of books and be able to get them to your iPhone and start reading easily.

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