The future of books – at your fingertips!
Posted on August 6, 2015
What and Why is eBooks?
eBooks, or electronic books have been around for quite some time now and millions of people around the world have access to them on a daily basis. Many people have incorporated these electronic books into their careers, it has transformed the way people do research and students and scholars are reaping the benefits of access to countless publications from the comfort of one device.
An electronic books is the digital version of a publication, and it has grown from being the digital cousin of some printed publication somewhere to some books being published exclusively in a digital format. It’s a totally unique method of publishing and it has slowly shaped and changed the publishing and distribution industries forever.
eBooks used to be mainly available to users through e-readers: dedicated devices that are specifically designed for reading and accessing the online eBook database. In recent years these publications have been made available to an even broader audience through the introduction of software for personal computers and smartphones, so anyone can access this massive library of books from just about anywhere. It has been estimated that in 2014, half of the American population owned a dedicated device to read and buy eBooks. We can only imagine that this number has soared since then. It’s a global phenomenon and it continues to take the world by storm.
Some of the most popular eBook formats are Adobe’s PDF and EPUB which was first adopted by Google Books. Reports have shown that the vast majority of American libraries have joined in the eBook revolution and those who started providing eBooks in 1998 have since started offering downloadable versions of their books as early as 2003.
The US noticed a huge opportunity and great potential in the eBook format, and this potential has gone unnoticed in many countries, leading to underdeveloped eBook infrastructure in some countries when it comes to integration into public library systems. One source which is open to the entire world is The Open Library, which currently has over 6 million eBooks in storage, growing on a daily basis, all of which are freely available to the public.
You might wonder whether eBooks really stack up to traditionally printed books? Well, quite literally they don’t stack up, and that’s great! One great advantage of owning a dedicated e-reader is that you can store thousands of books on one device, saving space and preventing you from lugging around heavy prints if you want to read somewhere away from home. Your entire library is with you at all times, and any publication you can think of is accessible at the touch of a button.
This advantage of eBooks has revolutionized the way that people research, and even the way that scholars take in information. Instead of being limited only to the books locally available to you, you have access to publications from all over the world by connecting your device to the internet and navigating to an eBook store like Amazon Kindle Store. Many eBooks are even offered for free!
In addition to saving space and broadening your horizons, eBooks have the advantage of being able to present multimedia in addition to the printed aspects of a book. Pictures, videos, links to relevant articles on the internet are all provided and are easily accessible from an e-reader device to add to your learning experience. Books can be translated instantly into thousands of languages, and text to speech application on e-readers help the visually impaired to be able to enjoy and learn from literally any book in the world. You’re able to read an eBook in totally light conditions, or in total darkness due to built-in light adjustment which is easy in your eyes. When connected to the internet you have the ability to instantly look up words or phrases or research terms or events.