Gulliver - Szene_aus_Gulliver's_Reisen_-_Gulliver_in_BrobdingnagNo, you don’t have to be a Brobdingnagian to enjoy e-books on a your new phone with a six-inch screen.

Let me share a few tips as the happy owner of both a Nexus 6 and a Huawei Ascend Mate 2. The same advice would also apply to many other king-sized phones, such as the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus.

1. Stop thinking you have to wrap your fingers completely around the phone. You can still hold the phone in one hand and page ahead with taps on the screen—or, with programs such as Moon+ Reader Pro or iBooks, you can even scroll with swiping motions. Buy a good drop-proof case to make you feel more confident.

2. If sitting or lying down at home, you can use an appropriately sized pillow to rest the phone against.

3. Or, gasp, when standing, you can hold the phone with two hands.

Some might still complain of the weight. Fine. Let ’em. But remember that a six-inch phone will still be lighter than, say, a Nexus 7.

If nothing else, consider that you’ll probably have your phone with you a lot more than your tablet. The best solution, really, is not to settle on one platform or another for constant use, but rather to read with the most appropriate device for the moment. And, yes, that could include a full-sized tablet or a large e-reader.

Most everything has its trade-offs. While a tiny four-inch phone may be comfortable to hold, remember that a Nexus 6 can display a lot more words at once on the screen.

TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows is now a fellow Nexus 6 owner, having received one from a very thoughtful brother over the holidays, and I’m looking forward to his own e-reading tips for phablet fans. If nothing else, I’ll be curious how well Chris’s 6 fits in his pockets. With my jeans—nothing unusual about them—I have no trouble carrying around the 6 in my right side pocket. It’s the only object there, normally. But if I were carrying keys, I could avoid screen-scratches with the right screen protector. I bought a Voxkin, and as for my case, it’s a SUPCASE.

Related: Powerful Moon+ Reader Pro e-reading app is on sale for just $2.49: New version offers blue light filter. I told how superior Moon was compared to the Kindle e-reading app—but I left out something. You can’t scroll with the Kindle app. It’s another illustration of Amazon’s fixation on KISS at the expense of smart customers who are tired of the basics.

Image credit: “Szene aus Gulliver’s Reisen – Gulliver in Brobdingnag” by Richard Redgrave – Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.”


  1. I’ve also been experimenting with reading on phones instead of my Kindles and I’m pleased with the results so far. I find that I have to stop and rest my eyes a couple of minutes about every 15 minutes or they’ll start watering, but that’s okay.

    Like you, I’m using Moon+ Reader and I find that scrolling is much more satisfying than page turns and also a bit more practical. When I get near the end of the page I have to force myself not to swipe to turn the page until the very end, pulling my head out of the story a bit. I suspect that’s from my paperback days and my habit of holding the bottom of the page and slowly lifting it and turning as I read the last line. Ereaders don’t turn pages slowly enough to read the last line.

    I’m almost halfway through a thousand page book now and I’ve read 95% of it on a Nexus 5. It’s a Kindle book that I used Calibre to liberate and I have it on my Kindle because the Kindle has a better dictionary and I use that a lot. The ColorDict dictionary in Moon+ is okay but the Kindle’s is better. Dictionaries are important to me as I read.

    The real beauty of reading on a phone is, to me, it’s size. I can comfortably hold it in a single hand and scroll with my thumb. It’s just a more comfortable way to read. Also the fact that it lives in my shirt pocket and is always ready for me is a big advantage. I’ve always read a lot but I’m finding I read more now.

    A lot of the features in Moon+ are far superior to the same features on the Kindle. It’s easier to adjust the brightness, although I don’t have to adjust it as often on the Kindle. Moon+’s bookmarking/highlighting system is far easier to use than the Kindle’s. It’s text search, another feature I use a lot to remind myself who is who is who, is better in Moon+.

    I’m not sure the Kindle’s fault is it’s reach for simplicity. The bookmarks used to be simple but they’ve made them complicated now so you have to think about them to use them. They used to be simple. And even worse is the X-Ray feature, which I used to rely heavily on as a character reference until they turned it into the monstrosity it is today. It’s fairly useless as a character reference now so I have to use the text search.

    I haven’t decided if I’ll keep reading on phones. I used to read on them when I was away from home but now as an experiment I’m doing most of my reading on the phone. So far I’m liking it but I won’t really know for sure till I get more used to it and then go back to the Kindle for a while to compare.


  2. @Barry: Thank you! As a fellow Kindle booster, perhaps you can join me in getting on Jeff B’s case to give the superb hardware the full-featured software it deserves (same for the Fires’ native e-reading app). I’d encourage you to tell people on Kindle-related boards and email lists to write

    As for your comment on Amazon failing at times even while reaching for simplicity, yes, I agree.

    Of course, a major irony is that compared to total costs, it would not be that much of a project to address the above issue and also narrow the feature gap with Moon (while of course tucking away the advanced stuff behind a menu option so as not to frighten newbies).

    Meanwhile happiest New Years in all respects—health, e-book experiences, everything! David

  3. I don’t read on my iPhone on purpose. That said, it’s loaded up with the Kindle app and I send the same books that I send to my two kindles (one in car and the one I keep in the house). Any time I have a potential wait I generally take a Kindle in with me (doctor, etc.) but those few times I go somewhere and the wait exceeded my expectations I’ll pull out my Kindle app and it’s got the same book on the same page which is incredibly convenient.

  4. I was reading on my phone only when waiting in line or unexpected delays, and bringing my tablet anywhere I expected to want to read. But since getting the Nexus 6, I’ve been reading on the phone anywhere I don’t happen to have the tablet, and not bothering to bring the tablet unless I’m bringing the backpack for some other reason.

  5. I think FBReader is good enough that it should be mentioned along with Aldiko and Moon+. But if anything has a dictionary program that looks at the language metadata, I’d like to know about it. That is, if I’m reading in English, I want a regular English dictionary, but if I’m reading in French, I’d like to be able to tell the reader to automatically use a French to English dictionary.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail