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iPhone bookworm: Reconnecting with the classics

There are a million good reasons for not having read those dusty old tomes, but not having a library card is no longer one of them. Classics on the iPhone brings 20 truly classic titles in their entirety.

The Classics bookcase(Credit: Apple iTunes)

Wish you were a big reader? There's definitely something impressive about someone who's read Bram Stoker's Dracula as well as all the Ann Rice Vampire Chronicles.

There are a million good reasons for not having read those dusty old tomes, but not having a library card is no longer one of them. Classics on the iPhone brings 20 truly classic titles in their entirety including Pride and Prejudice, The Time Machine, Alice in Wonderland and Frankenstein, plus more books promised by the developers in free updates to come.

We know what you're thinking: who in their right mind wants to read an entire novel on their phone's tiny screen? Well, you'd be surprised at not only how attractive this apps looks, but how easy the books are to read. Classics renders the books in a simple layout with brown text on off-white "pages" which is very easy on the eye. It also has a cute page-turning animation and a bookmark for when you choose to stop reading.

The only downside with Classics is its lack of settings. We've found the font and colours fantastic, but if you disagree you're pretty much out of luck. In this case you could try Stanza, an app we included in our first Best Free iPhone Apps feature. Stanza has everything Classics doesn't, and will save you the hefty AU$1.19 App Store fee to boot.

Stanza accesses a range of online libraries including the enormous Project Gutenberg for literary works in the public domain, such as the titles included in Classics, plus over 100,000 more. There's also newspaper and magazine articles, self-published e-books and free Harlequin romance novels for those cool, lonely winter's nights.

On top of an extensive collection, Stanza also includes a slew of customisations. We loved the look of Classics so much that we chose to replicate it in Stanza, matching the font, size and background colour in no time at all.

Both Classics and Stanza are available through the Apple App Store, though Classics does have that tiny price tag to consider.