eBooks on the iPhone are pretty obvious; I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good reader. Here’s the first cut: Stanza (App Store link).

The key is being able to download your own books, which Stanza allows. Grab Stanza Desktop and load your books into there, then select Enable Sharing from the Tools menu and fire up the iPhone Stanza app. Shared Books -> Books on Macintosh displays the list of currently open books in Stanza Desktop. Select the ones you want, and there you go.

(Helpful hint: go back to the Mac to tell Stanza Desktop that it’s OK for the iPhone to connect. I couldn’t figure out why the iPhone app was hanging at first.)

Stanza Desktop supports a nice list of file types, including Open eBook, Kindle, Mobipocket, HTML, PDF, LIT, PalmDoc, RTF, and Word. It does not support Sony Reader or PDF files. Good enough for my purposes but not perfect.

The iPhone UI could use a little polish but it’s very functional. I’m happy for the nonce. The apps are currently free; the web site says the Desktop will cost something once it’s out of beta.