Have you ever been stuck on a train, plane, or bus and wanted a good book to read? With Classics [iTunes Link], you can easily pick up your iPhone and begin reading a small collection of classic literature and novels. As I mentioned last week, Classics takes a new approach to reading books on the iPhone.
The book selection interface reminds us of Delicious Library, as it has a wooden bookcase with the library of books stacked on it -- the developers will add new books with future (free) updates. You can re-arrange your books by tapping on a book and dragging it around. Once you select a book, it will load, and you will see the reading view. If you are continuing where you left off, a bookmark will appear and slide off the page; otherwise, you will presented with the first page of the book. To turn the page, you simply slide your finger in a page-turning motion (right to left or left to right, depending on if you want to go forward or backwards respectively). The page turning is really addictive, and you'll find yourself reading quickly through the text just so you can flip to the next page -- yes, it's really that addictive.
By tapping on the list icon in the top-right corner, you will be presented with an index of the chapters; you can tap on any of these chapters to jump to the beginning of the section. When you tap the back button in the top-left, a bookmark will slide onto the page, saving your place for later.
After extensive testing over the past two weeks, I have become addicted to reading in Classics. But, there are some improvements I would like to see. There is a good selection of books to read, but I would like to see this list expand (and bring more recent books to the bookshelf). I would also like to be able to search through one (or all) of the books to find a single passage. In addition, the ability to control the font size would be nice. Overall, this application is stellar, and while there is some room for improvement, I would have to agree that this is a great way to read older books on the go. Classics is definitely not a mainstream eBook reader, because you cannot add your own books. So, if you're looking for a reader that gives you more flexibility, you might want to try Stanza [iTunes Link].
You can download Classics from the iTunes Store for an introductory price of $2.99. Be sure to take a look at our gallery of screenshots.