NOTE: this is a review of what it's like to read a book as rendered for iPhone by Olive Tree software. It is not yet a review of the book per se. And so, HSAT....
What is it like to read a book on an iPhone?
On my trip to Arizona to speak at the the Sovereign Grace Bible Conference, my traveling (and night-time) reading was in Olive Tree software's version of Mark Driscoll's Death by Love (Crossway Books: 2008).
I have completed about seven-and-a-half of twelve chapters, which is a good chunk given the time-span. Verdict? It was really a pleasure. I love this format for this kind of reading. The width of the screen lends itself perfectly to a flowing scan, working with the iPhone's flowing response to touch. It sped up my reading-rate. Italics and paragraphs are reproduced, though the font seems to be Arial.
I also love the way Olive Tree renders Scripture and footnotes. Here's how that works:
Just touch a Scripture reference, and the verse pops up in whatever version you've selected. Click on the arrow, and that passage comes up. Then just select the Back arrow to return to the text.
Ditto footnotes. Touch the footnote number, and you're there. The Back arrow returns you to your place in the reading.
You can also annotate your reading. Click on the Plus at the bottom of the screen, select Add Note, and whack away. The note is represented at the text, available in the future at a touch.
There are imperfections. I noticed that several words were "runtogether," though was infrequent enough not to be a real irritation. The other imperfection (for my use) had nothing to do with the software, but with my planning. On every flight, there are periods where one must turn off all electronic devices. When this was my only reading, I had nothing but the flight mags to read — poor planning on my part.
Of course, this isn't the format for a book you're going to closely study. It won't replace Logos, or printed books. But for easy accessibility away for home, or for reading at odd moments, in long trips or long waits, or at bedtime, it's really terrific.
Conclusion: I recommend getting books in this format from Olive Tree. It suited my needs perfectly; I'll definitely be using the format in the future.
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