Reading E-books on Your Mobile Phone

Reading e-books on Amazon’s Kindle 2 dedicated e-book reader is a green gadget alternative to buying traditional books. Choosing more e-books means that less trees are felled to mill paper that would wind up bound in a printed book. E-books also reduce the other drains on the planet’s resources associated with printing and distributing books. At the same time, it’s worth noting the materials used to manufacture e-book readers, and the servers that you download e-books from, will still have an environmental impact via the resources and energy used to create and use them.

Yet as sleek and eco-friendly as the Kindle 2 is, why introduce yet another gadget into your life when you may not need to? Chances are good that you already own an excellent e-book reader without realizing it: your cellphone, smartphone, or PDA. Browsing, downloading, and reading free and competitively priced e-books on your handheld gadget is merely a matter of installing an e-book reader program. Here are a few mobile e-book reader programs and electronic bookstores that enable you to browse and download e-books for free or for a price:
Mobipocket Reader ( runs on mobile phones and PDAs that run on the Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, and Blackberry operating systems. Downloading titles to your computer and then installing them on your mobile device is required for all but the Blackberry version of the program. Downloading books over the air, directly to your Blackberry, means you can skip the computer middleman step. The Mobipocket Reader Web site also offers news and other RSS feeds. Tapping into them to create your own, customized electronic newspaper can keep you up-to-date on news and other topics when you’re on the go.

Feedbooks (, the universal e-reading platform, is compatible with a wide range of mobile phones and PDAs. Download titles directly to your mobile phone or PDA by opening with your gadget’s Web browser.

Stanza ( is an iPhone and iPod touch reader, with the ability to connect to numerous online bookstores to download free and for-sale books, including Feedbooks, Fictionwise, Project Gutenberg, SmashWords, and a number of mainstream publishers.

eReader ( is an e-book reader program that runs on Windows and Mac desktops and notebooks, as well as on many mobile devices running Windows Mobile, Pocket PC, Palm OS, or Symbian operating systems. The iPhone and iPod touch edition of eReader can download titles directly from your online bookshelf account that you registered with either, or both. eReader on the iPhone is one of the authors’ favorite way to read e-books. The text is beautifully crisp, and the display is large and easy enough on his eyes that he prefers reading on the iPhone to reading on a larger, dedicated reader such as the Kindle 2.

Another reason for this preference is the backlit iPhone display, which is pleasant to read in bed with the lights turned off. Like real books, the Kindle 2 and most other dedicated e-book readers are readable only when the lights are turned on, or in daylight.

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