Stanza eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch

by Michael Cook on July 14, 2008
Reading Apps

UPDATE: Stanza is no longer maintained so I’d recommend you try out Bluefire Reader. Checkout my iPhone review or iPad review over on epubBooks for some more information on reading EPUB books on the iPhone with Blurefire and other apps.

If you are looking for a free eBook reader for your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch then you might want to try the new Stanza reader from Lexcycle.

I don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch myself so have no first-hand experience, but Feedbooks co-found Hadrien Gardeur, has made a post over on that Stanza [link removed] has the ability to download ePub books directly from using their API. FeedBooks have many of the top classics found at, from Jane Austin to Alexandre Dumas to Jules Verne.

For those of you who don’t know, the IDPF ePub format is an open standard eBook format that is fast being adopted by many big name publishers including Penguin UK and O’Reilly as well as projects such as

Over the coming months we are likely to see a number of iPhone apps that will allow you to read those free, public domain eBooks from Project Gutenberg, and Stanza will certainly continue to be one of the top ones. So, if you want to read Project Gutenberg books on your iPhone, then just stop by the app store and download Stanza now.

For more information about Stanza on the iPhone visit

For more information on accessing from within Stanza visit

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August 15, 2008 at 1:46 am

Howdy: I am in the process of downloading the desktop version of Stanza now. The iPhone free app works exactly as described and desired. I have a Palm Tungsten 5 that I read Project Gutenberg books on via the Plucker app. So, I’m used to a relatively bare bones, black text/white background experience. Downloading from the Free catalog worked great, although the title listing and organization are a little weak. I couldn’t see that you could search by title, only subject.

So, now on to grabbing Project Gutenberg files, bringing them into the Stanza desktop environment (on a pc equiped with Windows 2007) and then wirelessly transferring to my iPhone. I’ll keep you posted.

Read on World!

Catherine August 15, 2008 at 2:26 am

Howdy again. Success! And apologies for posting at this ungodly hour in your time. Here it’s only 8:13 pm. So, after downloading Stanza and checking that the sharing books feature was enabled on the desktop and making sure my iPhone was using my secure and password protected home network, I opened Project Gutenberg, found and opened a book, copied the url into the clipboard. Next, I used the File\Open command on the desktop app. Following the instructions (which were written with remarkable clarity and prominantly located in the phone app, ) I went to the iPhone app library, shared books folder and then on to the books on my computer. Almost immediately, Stanza asked if I wanted to allow sharing this once or always with the phone. After Okaying the always feature the title of my book came up with the option to download.

Minor quibbles: I’m not entirely sure that I can do this with the book closed on the desktop application. It’s possible they have to be open. Also, I’ve yet to entirely figure out if I can create my own “desktop library” with my Project Gutenberg reading list. However, as I’ve only been in possession of the application for about 45 minutes, I’ll confess I may not have entirely explored the possibilites.

Worked exactly as described. Book is now in my phone library. I am a very happy woman. Wanna buy a Palm Pilot tungsten?

Mike Cook August 15, 2008 at 9:04 am

Hi Catherine, thanks for the great mini tutorial! I’ve never seen an iPhone in action but after reading this I would feel very confident in downloading books to an iPhone!

Still, it seems you did have to go round the houses a little. It would be great if Stanza was able to directly connect with Project Gutenberg like it does with Feedbooks. I’ve emailed the webmaster, Marcello, so see if they have anything on the cards.

I’ve read a number of posts from the Stanza developer and he says they have plans for many new features and improvements. If memory serves me well, library enhancements was one of them.

>> Wanna buy a Palm Pilot tungsten?
No thanks, but now I have my Sony PRS-500, I do have a Clié hanging around if you’re interested ;-)