I may be showing my age here, but I spend lots of my days peering at screens, large and small, and my eyes feel it at the end of the day. I am always using the handy magnifier on my Firefox browser (CTRL +), and I’m all for checking headlines and email on my BlackBerry. But, reading a book on it? I don’t think so.
And yet, Amazon and Google announced this week that they will be making more books available for download on cell phones. Google says its 1.5 million public domain books that are now available to read on computers are now available on some cell phones, including the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1. Amazon, meanwhile, is in the process of making the books available via its e-reader, the Kindle, accessible on phones.
It’s easy to see e-readers like the Kindle and Sony’s Reader substituting for a paper-bound book on the road. Maybe there’s a generational default line, but I cannot see reading whole books on a phone screen, even a beautifully sized clear one like the iPhone. Listening to them via a phone? Sure. Sites like audible.com and audiobooks.org provide ample titles for download, and there are programs that allow you to turn an iPhone and other mobile devices like the Palm Treo and BlackBerrys into e-readers.
Do you read books on your phones yet? If not, can you see yourself poring through the latest bestseller on a screen that fits in the palm of your hand?
[Image: Stanza by Lexcycle/e-reader for iPhone]