image You know how gung-ho I am on the iPhone/iPod Touch for e-book reading. Just this morning, I finished printing a 327-page, 76,000-word manuscript of The Solomon Scandals for a friend.

Scandals at this point isn’t a finished, bound book, not until October or November. But my friend will be jetting off to the Bahamas for a well-earned vacation. And an e-book version would still have made much more sense than paper—if not on an iPhone, then at least on something with a larger screen.

My friend’s tote-along challenge is nothing compared to those of college students, with all the expensive p-books they must carry around, constantly.

“Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod”

image And so I read with interest a New York Times item headlined Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod. Within the Times’ tech section, as I write this, the item is the second-most e-mailed. Some colleges are actually giving iPhones and iPods to students—well, as subsidized by tuition.

How many of the colleges and students will be thinking of the iPhone and iPod Touches for e-book apps among others? Far fewer than should, probably.

Granted, the tinier iPods might end up in some cases as distractions—notice the photo? But the iPhone and Touch offer real positives to balance out the negatives.

While the screens are still too small for typical textbook use, how about supplemental or recreational reading? Or for reading class syllabi or other school-related documents?

Fine for many young eyes

Remember, most of the students are at an age when their eyes might get along far, far better with small screens than those of middle-aged readers might. What’s more, if a books is available in E and readable on the iPhone, it might be readable on large tablets, laptops and other devices. Already eReader, for which many thousands of commercial books already exist, has an iPhone/Touch version. And Mobi will soon be following. Meanwhle you can already read nonDRMed ePub books on the iPhone through Stanza.

Image: A scene from the Bahamas, via Wikipedia.


  1. I used to carry extra suitcases filled with manuscripts. Now, I carry my eBookWise. Considering that the airlines have started charging for extra bags, it won’t take long to pay for your Kindle if you do a lot of traveling. Fifty bucks per trip ($25 per direction) means 6 trips a year is already up to $300. Not to mention making it easier on your back to lug things around.

    I hope the airlines get the program soon and allow us to use our reading devices during takeoff and landing. I suspect the risk of electronic interference from either your new Kindle or my aging eBookWise is exactly zero.

    Also, when considering ecological costs of books, do take into account what all those books do to jet fuel use.

    Rob Preece

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