What is an E-book?
An e-book is an electronic book that you can read on your pc, laptop, mobile phone or e-reader device.
E-books can be electronic versions of a print book or they may not have any printed equivalent. They come in a variety of formats, all of which can be read online, but some also allow you to download and/or print either the entire book or sections.
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E-book Pros and Cons
- Portability – Most e-book devices can hold literally hundreds or even thousands of e-books in their memory. That's a lot less weight to lug around in your backpack.
- Instant gratification – Ever wait until the wee hours of the evening to look up that book you need for your research paper? A nice thing about e-books is that you have access to them 24/7 so you can get the book even when the library is closed.
- Search Capability – Entering your keywords in a search box is way quicker than flipping through pages of print.
- Savings – When a hardcover paper book and an e-book of it come out at the same time, the e-book version is usually priced lower. It also tends to be less expensive for a library to store and maintain an e-book collection.
- Requires Special Equipment – All you need to read a print book is the book and some light. Not so with e-books. Whether you use an e-book reader, computer or mobile device–you need some sort of electronic equipment to read an e-book. These devices can be costly and they all require power to function.
- Format Compatibility – Publishers use a variety of different formats for e-books. Some are available as PDFs, others as HTML, and there are those that are compatible with a particular type of device (iPad, Kindle, etc). Some formats have clunky navigation or may not be comtible with your device.
- Digital Rights Management (DRM) – Sometimes e-books may not be downloaded or only a small portion may be printed.
- Doesn't Smell Like a Book – Some book-lovers simply prefer the look, feel, weight, and yes, smell—of a paper book.