100 Classic Books certainly will not replace your Kindle, iPad or other e-book reader of choice, and even though it’s a fair price for 100 novels, $20 still may seem like a lot to pay for a collection of public domain books you can download for free from places like . However, I still find myself very impressed with this title, and definitely see it as a worthwhile app for a much broader audience than dedicated e-book devices reach. This is a wonderful edutainment tool for getting kids interested in reading and a great all-around e-book app for the DS, and even though these books may be free elsewhere, 100 Classic Books’ combination of convenience, quantity and quality is worth paying for.
The best thing I can say about 100 Classic Books is that it performs exactly as advertised. You get 100 literary classics (110 if you have Wi-Fi access to download the bonus DLC books) on a single cartridge, and with the two screens, the touch pad, and the system’s vertical orientation, you can read the entire library with the same sensation as reading a real book, swiping the touch screen with your finger (or stylus) to flip through the pages.
Falling into the same class of titles as KORG DS-10 and America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking, 100 Classic Books for the DS is NOT a game. Instead, it is a simple collection of classic literature that transforms your DS into a portable library. Yes, you can actually use your DS to do something productive!
The list price is $19.99 for Nintendo DS (a latter-day Gameboy), and is exactly what it says it is: 100 classic books that you can read on your Nintendo DS. How comfortable these little hand-held gaming devices are for reading full novels is open for debate. But how excellent would it be to find that the teenager zoned out on his gameboy at a restaurant is not rescuing princesses (‘princi‘?) but instead reading Don Quixote? I’ve seen young people huddled around tiny iPod screens to watch full length movies, so the idea of having a hundred classic books in miniature at your disposal for long trips might not be entirely claustrophobic to the right demographic.