Picture-11.pngBy now Stanza is the most robust e-reading application for iOS. It’s packed with features other apps, like Kindle or iBooks are missing. However it has one big disadvantage: no cloud-based bookshelf.

The application is associated to a device not an account. There is no way to sync books and bookmarks like in Kindle. It’s fine when you have one device. Things get complicated to those iPhone or iPod Touch users who are buying iPads. They realize that to read books they collected in Stanza, they need to download them again.

There are a few ways to transfer books to Stanza. I’d like to add to the list a simple solution, which gives at least part of cloud bookshelf functionality. It’s Dropbox (AppStore link), an application available for both iPhone and iPad. Sure, no sync is possible, but at least you can manage you book library from a single place.

[Note: It is also possible to put one’s Calibre library on Dropbox in a form that Stanza can access —C.M.]

This is possible with a recent update of Dropbox. You are able to export documents to other apps, even those ones which can’t be opened by Dropbox itself – like ePub. Please note in the screenshots below, that ePub files can be opened only by Stanza, and pdf files – by Stanza and iBooks.




  1. Or, you could use sensibly designed readers that allow memory cards, and keep your “to-read” pile on one card that all your devices can access. All of my diverse reading devices (including converged ones) use some form of SD card. IMO, lack of that kind of feature is a defect in the design.

    Jack Tingle

    • Howard, I think the article is meant as a way to load books onto Stanza without having to go through the Stanza desktop app (which is frankly annoying enough that I haven’t bothered with it in ages, using Calibre instead).

      The benefit of putting your Calibre library in Dropbox (as in the technique in the post linked from the note I added) is that you can then access it from anywhere you have Internet without having to preload everything onto your device.

  2. @Jack – I used devices that took memory cards for years, like the Treo. I am so happy to leave that behind and be able to access my book files wherever I am. If I’m at work or on vacation, and my SD card is at home (or lost, or broken – it happens!) all I need is wifi to remedy the situation.

    @Howard – it’s not a storage space problem. If you only have one ereader, maybe you’re ok, but I’m often reading the same book on my phone (while commuting) and on my iPad (at home) and it’s nice to be able to have the same book in two places.

  3. Stanza will also access, browse and download from OPDS catalogs such as are made available by Calibre’s server. This can be difficult to implement at home where your IP may not be fixed, you don’t have a FQDN and your system may be obscured from the Internet via NAT and a firewall. Dropbox resolves all of these issues.

    However, I run Calibre from my university office where those issues don’t obtain and it’s a very nice, easy to implement solution.

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