Ebook readers for iphone: updated reviews

Since my last look at ebook software, the three leading ebook readers for the iPhone/iPod Touch have been updated, so here’s a new look at how they stack up.

Lexcycle Stanza (website) still leads the pack, even though its two competitors are closing the distance. Stanza remains my favorite because it is easily customized (font, type size etc.) and has the easiest interface for downloading free, public domain books from Project Gutenberg. And, unlike Amazon’s Kindle software (see below), Stanza lets you easily search the text of a book.

Barnes and Noble eReader (website) is now running a close second to Stanza, having moved up from dead last. It is no longer prone to frequent crashes, and best of all, it now has search! The interface for getting books from Barnes & Noble is still clunky and it is not always easy to find free public domain books. For example, if you search for the author Charles Dickens, you have to scroll through a number of offerings to get to the free versions of his works.

Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone (website) despite its recent upgrade, still lacks search. How can this be? I guess if you’re number one, you don’t have to try very hard. The main reason to try this e-book reader is its access to Amazon’s discounted Kindle books ($9.99 for most bestsellers), although the New York Times reports that this price advantage may soon be gone.

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