Stanza for iPad is another free eBook reader with more and better features than the Kindle app but a significantly smaller selection of titles. Unlike the Kindle, Stanza for iPad doesn’t offer a $189 handheld device, but I suspect you won’t care.
Stanza for iPad has all the features that are missing from the Kindle app and more. Some of Stanza’s niceties include almost infinite control over page layout, so you can specify not only font size but also margins, line and paragraph spacing, indentation, page color, and more, some of which are shown in the figure on the left below. Being able to adjust layout settings makes a huge difference, specially If you read in a variety of places with different types of lighting.
You can look up words using the built-in dictionary and jot down annotations. Plus, you can search for a word or phrase in any book, sort your library by title or author, or even create custom collections within your library. And, although this is kind of silly, if you don’t like the cover that came with a book, you can replace it with another artwork using Stanza’s cover Lookup features.
You can set multiple bookmark in each book, and if you leave the app for any reason ( a phone call, text message, or just because your eyes are tired) Stanza for iPad remembers where you left off and takes you back to that page the next time you lunch the app.
If you read in multiple languages, you’ll be pleased to know that the Stanza app includes built-in support for English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Danish, Portuguese, and Swedish.
Best of all. Stanza has a set of fabulous built-in catalogs (some of which are shown in the figure on the right below), so you can find and download free content and purchase contemporary books without leaving the app, which is something you can’t do with the Kindle app.
With the Kindle, you’re limited to content you get at the Kindle Store on Amazon.com. Stanza offers titles from multiple sources, including Random House Free Library, Harlequin Books, and all 25,000+ books from Project Gutenberg.
Some of the available authors include Stephanie Meyer (Twilight), Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code), Malcom Gladwell, (Blink), Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope), Stephen King (too many titles to name), and James Patterson (ditto).
Stanza for iPad offers acces to a lot of free books, probably more than any other app I’ve tasted, including most (if not all) of the titles found in Free Books and Wattpad, as well as other titles from authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and P. G. Wodehouse.
The Stanza catalogs are easy to use and they make finding titles a breeze. Most catalogs let you browse by author, title, or subject; some offer additional optional options such as “bookshelves, popular titles, and recent releases. “Or you can use Stanza’s excellent search mechanism to find what you’re looking for across all Stanza catalogs.
This app has been lauded by TIME magazine (Top 11 iPad Apps), PC Magazine (Editor’s Choice), Wired (10 Most Awesome iPad Apps), and BestAppEver.com. Because Stanza is free, you have no excuse not to give it try.
Stanza For iPad – Best Features
I love having complete control over the way my pages look. I wish every app I use to read anything had this feature. I also like all the thoughtful touches such as search, built-in dictionary, and instant annotation.
Stanza For iPad – Worst Feature
The biggest drawback to this app is its smaller selection of current titles (compared to Kindle).