If there’s any time to push forth and exploit the 3D fervor, it’s pretty much now, before the Avatar buzz dies down. With its 3D Bookshelf app, Ideal Binary tries to offer a different sort of electronic reading experience with 15 different classics. You will see these novels on a shelf upon the app’s launch, which you can scroll through by sliding a finger or tapping to the left or right sides of the center; tap on a book to select and open it on a desk. A book’s default position is flat on the desk with a page fully on the screen, but you can swipe upward once to tilt it away, and again to view the entire book on the desk; tap and slide anywhere on the desk to maneuver the book. You can flip the pages even while the book is in such a position, or use the slider at the bottom to quickly scroll through the book. Slide a finger down to get the book back in reading position. To flip the pages, you can either slide a finger across the screen or tap the arrows down at the bottom corners. Tapping the button on the top right will take you to the Table of Contents, which you can use to jump chapters; tapping the Menu button on the top left will take you back to the shelf, but not without inserting a bookmark to mark your place first. You can clear all bookmarks in your Settings menu (the wrench button on the shelf’s top right corner).
Without a doubt, the graphics and interface of 3D Bookshelf Classic Literature Collection are amazing. The design is great, there is nothing absurdly confusing about navigation, and the old-school look of reading a book is preserved pretty darn well. The physics are smooth, with no lag at all while you’re flipping through pages. All in all, an impressive debut for a new app on the market. However, being such a new app also means that there can be improvements, such as more customization options (changeable font sizes, adjustable lighting, etc.). Maybe a way for us to annotate while we’re reading would be great, especially for those of us who aren’t reading classic literature for pleasure. We’re curious as to the release rate of new material as well, because people will certainly be clamoring for more choices (perhaps even non-classical literature). And while electronic reading will never really replace the old ancient art of reading a physical book, 3D Bookshelf can help ease the way into the future with lots of style and pomp.
Here is a video demo of the 3D Bookshelf app on the iPhone
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