The Nintendo DS portable gaming console is to turn tricks as an electronic book reader. Later this month it is to get an e-book collection, reports Electric Pig.

Much like the Sony PlayStation Portable and the Apple iPhone, the Nintendo DS can read novels and reference material stored in the e-book (electronic book) format and is about to get its own library of established classics. The Nintendo DS 100 Classic Books Collection consists of 100 tales from the likes of Dickens, Shakespeare and Jane Austen and will cost £18.

There's no word as yet from Nintendo about whether it is likely to make available more modern classics - after all, these will attract royalties and the market for e-books on a handheld console not really designed for displaying electronic pages is likely to be marginal.

If you can put up with having to turn an electronic page every couple of minutes by flicking it or tapping the stylus, this may be a good, weight-saving alternative to investing in yet another gadget. It will have Wi-Fi, for over the air downloads, which puts it ahead of the Sony Reader and the BeBook.

On balance, we think we'd sooner plump for an audiobook to listen to on our DS.

Nintendo DS 100 Classic Books