Freebook Sifter is great for finding free stuff to put on my KindleTouch for reading on the go, but I find it hard to have a reading experience in which the device has disappeared when it comes to reading concentration-demanding classic literature. I need to turn the page too frequently – even using a small font doesn’t accommodate enough words per page.
For a long time I was stubborn and only read ebooks in e-ink. Now I find that as long as I’m careful about settings, I can read pretty comfortably on an iPad after all. Using a landscape view with two columns on a big screen replicates reading a small paperback pretty closely. Because of this, I find the Kindle app for the iPad works better than the Kindle itself for inducing what Jeff Bezos calls a flow state of reading.
An app I like even better for finding classic literature is Spreadsong’s Free Books. Browsing for books on it is a beautiful thing. This curated collection of books has been selected and organized by humans and it shows. Having a single alphabetized banner of authors and book categories allows for serendipitous finds within sometimes unconventional headings like Epic Epics and American Presidents.
Clicking on an author or category brings you to a well-written background article that includes links to key literary works in the collection. Descriptions of books are conversational and knowledgable. While the app includes many standard features and is Dropbox-compatible, the elegance of it’s browsing and content-oriented focus set it apart from other online book providers.