Reading on your iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, and love reading, you will be delighted with version 2.0 apps. A long time ago, I was a PC user, but after my hard drive crashed, and I lost irreplaceable files, I switched to an Apple and never looked back. The only thing that I miss about a PC is Microsoft Reader. Nevertheless, I was still able to use Reader with my Hewlett Packard phone. After giving up my HP phone for an iPhone, I soon started to miss my digital reading device on the train, or while stuck in traffic.

Now iPhone has different apps that can read electronic books. The free application eReader only read books bought or uploaded from their online eBookstore. Their site does provide a few free books. Another application BookShelf cost $9.99. It supports uploading your own electronic books in various formats such as.txt, .html, .fb2, .pdb, .prc, and, .mobi. However, both apps lack the ability to read .lit format, which is a Microsoft Reader format. Anyway, I am on a budget and I do not want to buy an app to read public domain books, which is not compatible with the .lit format (University of Virginia Library has many free electronic ebooks in .lit, pdb and html). Searching for an app that would read .lit, I found Stanza. Right now Stanza is free on Beta version. Their website LexCycle, has a free library of public domain books that can be uploaded to the iPhone once downloaded to a Mac. Furthermore, there is no restriction where to obtain electronic reading material. Stanza’s supports numerous formats.


Twilight Saga

Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse
by Stephenie Meyer

I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, so I finally decided to follow the crowd and buy Meyer's Twilight. It was good enough for me to purchase her two followup books in the series. Taking into consideration that the Twilight series is written for young readers, its colloquial diction was a fast read; even though the books are lengthy, I read all three books in less than a week.

The Twilight saga is a romance, but it happens to be about a flourishing love between a human and a vampire. The story is narrated by 17 year-old Isabella Swan, who happens to fall in love with Edward Cullen, the vampire. He reciprocates the love she feels towards him but love between a human and a vampire is never that simple, so the saga begins.

About a little over 300 pages of Twilight is character development; the conflict occurs almost at the end of the book. The duration of conflict and climax is less than a hundred pages. Towards the end Isabella (Bella) seems whiny constantly stating, "Don't leave me Edward, stay." Their love seems more like lust. Bella perpetually describes Edward as beautiful and perfect; there is no actual conversation or bonding between Bella and Edward besides approbation of esthetics. Nevertheless, Twilight was entertaining, because it keeps the reader (me) curious.

New Moon tackles the conflicts between human and vampire love. Is Bella safe having a relationship with a vampire that thirst for blood? Can she survive without Edward, and can he survive without her? In addition, a new relationship is forge, and there are more magical creatures in Forks.

Eclipse brings closure to the last surviving vampire nomad who seeks revenge against Edward. The Cullens cannot contend their enemies alone; they needed help from friendlier foes. Bella struggles with conflicting emotions while Edward competes with Jacob Black for Bella's love. The relationships among characters develop depth. 

Though the story line of love between a human and a vampire may seem unique, it is strikingly similar to Charlaine Harris's Sookie series. Only the characters' traits are reverse. Harris' main character Sookie, a human is a mind reader, but she is unable to read the minds of vampires. Thus, she is attracted to having relationships with vampires rather than humans. Meyer's protagonist Edward is a mind reader, but he is unable to read Bella's mind, which is one of the reasons he is drawn to her. Sookie and Bella also share similarity that they both are impervious to vampires special powers.

I think Meyer's Twilight saga is popular, because it fills the avoid in the young readers market for vampire romance, which has already been establish in the adult market by authors like Charlaine Harris, and MaryJanice Davidson.

Meyer’s Twilight series is a entertaining read for young readers seeking an innocent vampire romance. However, at times the romance appears superficial, and the narrator Bella seems weak not only physically but also mentally. She allows her life to be dictated by her boyfriend, which is not a good role model for young girls.