Commuting back and forth to work each day affords me the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with my BlackBerry Z10. There are games, social networking apps and internet searches to keep me occupied on the arduous journey. What I also enjoy, is catching up on my reading. While there are multiple eBook readers in BlackBerry World, I though I would give Bonfire Reader a try. As a native, Built for BlackBerry application it features a 3D virtual page flip to give it a smooth and visually appealing experience.
In terms of compatible formats, Bonfire Reader, as of now, opens DRM-free ePub books from any source. While this may be limiting for some, the internet offers plenty of sources to locate them including Project Guttenberg and Google Books.
One of the main selling points of this application is the 3D virtual page turning. Without a doubt, it precisely follows your finger on the screen no matter how fast you turn or where you choose to do so. Pages load instantly without lag, which is what you expect from an e-reader. When it comes to text, it formats correctly by filling the screen with the ability to adjust font type and size.
In terms of navigating, a simple tap on the right goes to the next page while a tap on the left takes you to the previous one. Tapping on the center brings up the navigation menu which offers quick access to adjust brightness levels, font size and type, the table of contents to skip to other chapters, access to bookmarks, and a view of highlights and notes. One last feature included in the menu is reading mode. Using this, you can switch between normal, sepia, and night mode for different viewing capabilities or adjust the margin.
Sometimes I find when turning a page the text is already selected. While this bug may be slightly annoying, simply tap on the overflow icon and choose cancel selection to clear. Highlighting allows you to select and color code text, add notes, and search the dictionary for meanings of unfamiliar words. Simply select text as you normally would and tap on the area once to bring up the appropriate menu.
Now you might ask how easy is it to load and manage your library. The process is automatic and upon loading for the first time it scans the books folder on your device or SD card though other folders may be added from settings. To load additional titles simple tap on the overflow menu and select refresh. All appear on the main page and are sortable by author or book title. Those with a large library will appreciate the search option to go directly to a title or author without scrolling.
When it comes to reading with Bonfire Reader, you won't find yourself struggling to read on a smaller screen such as the Z10. I find myself sneaking a chapter here and there throughout the day on mine.
- 3D page turning
- Easy to read full page layout
- Customizable screen - Font size, brightness, day/night mode
- Auto import of files
- Multiple bookmark capability
- Q10 shortcuts
- Lack of auto-rotate (Landscape) support
- Limited format capability
- No cloud support to sync files
The Bottom line
Some glitches still remain to sort out though it is intuitive, easy to use, and runs fast. I have tried other readers and though they offer more in terms of functionality they freeze and the layout is unpleasant. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, Bonfire Reader does get the job done which is to give you a nice user interface with which to read your favorite novels on your BlackBerry 10 device no matter where you are. You can grab it at the link for $1.99.