i recently ran across a number of references to hiram bingham’s, Inca Land, which is available for free from project gutenberg. this of course prompted the search for an appropriate ebook reader with hooks to project gutenberg. behold eucalyptus, which will download books from project gutenberg on the fly and give you a killer interface for viewing the contents of the book. insane attention to detail is visible everywhere.
the text is rendered in very high quality fonts, the animation is tight and the search function is spot on. my only nit, is the lack of graphics for books which do have photos.
http://eucalyptusapp.com/ - definitely worth the $9.99 that they’re asking for it.
i should point out that i’ve also purchased classics (http://www.classicsapp.com/) which is equally stunning visually. however, the library that’s embedded inside classics is anemic. while they’ve taken great care to display the content beautifully i find myself aching for more content. i’d give up some of the visual appeal for the content and the portability. eucalyptus seems to have struck a very nice balance here.
while all these two apps are capable reading platforms, i do find them lacking a few features which i really irritate me. specifically these:
- the ability to annotate or make notes. now, i know that there are all sorts of additional considerations associated with this and there’s a corresponding need to provide a means to extract those notes into a different application, provide sexy input overlay, etc. but i’m a margin writer or a highlighter. if i like a book i like to make it mine. while this is a general nit with ebooks, i would love to find a reasonably decent digital proxy. failing this, i would like …
- the ability to copy a selected region of text and use the paste function to bring that content into another application for sharing or notes. seems like a pretty duh item for me, particularly given that the content is all without copyright encumbrance.
these are hardly damning criticisms of these apps, in fact they’re more reflective of my desire to have a host of reading functionality in my pocket which to date i haven’t been able to find. these apps represent the greatest non-kindle based means of portable reading that i’ve personally poked at and i find my curiosity piqued and a couple of things lacking.