Classics – Just Like Reading A Book
Developer:Andrew Kaz & Phill Ryu
Release Date:January 03, 2009
I love this app. I simply love it.
In my article Ten Time and Money Saving Apps That Cost Nothing, I wrote that while Audiobooks will never replace for carnal lovers that rough thumbing through of pages, Classics by Andrew Kazmierski & Phillip Ryu sure gets close to it. The app redesigns your reading experience on the iPhone by imitating actual page turning with three-dimensional page flips. Reading applications like Kindle and eReader are fabulous and warrant further review, but neither can offer the physical experience of reading as Classics can. As more people adopt e-reading over books for their downtime, having Classics recreate having an actual book helps the transition. While you may miss the sensation of real paper under your thumb, the paper graphic fluidly following your finger in a nearly perfect mime is satisfaction enough.
Classics offers, so far, a limited spectrum of classic books to choose from. Most are famous titles, like The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, and Dracula, but there are a few lesser read titles like Flatland – a book I was surprised to see – and The Hound of Baskervilles. All are elegantly showcased with their fully illustrated covers on a mahogany bookshelf backdrop, and just as you would with your own bookshelf, you may rearrange your collection as you see fit. It seems many of the classics are more youth-oriented, with The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland standing out compared to Pride and Prejudice or even The Illiad. However, for a mere $0.99 – a sale with a finite lifespan – Classics offers you enough books, even if there are only 20.
To read, simply click a book and start flipping away with your finger. You may start from the beginning or, as you would in a regular book, select a chapter. Unlike a regular book, Classics maintains a progress bar for you to check how far you’ve read in the book. A different animation and sound effect occur when you flip forward as opposed to backward, and should you decide to stop reading for the time being, then Classics kindly lays a red satin bookmarker graphic onto your page which can be seen on the book cover when viewing the bookcase. Should for some reason the page flipping sound begin to bother you, then you have the option of silencing it.
While feeling the weight of a solid book in my hands and seeing the gradual weathering of it with time could never be replaced by a device like the iPhone, reading The Call of the Wild in Classics, with its tawny stained pages, still offers me the magic of a real-live book.