What Is An Ebook and How Does It Work?

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What is an ebook and how to access it

Books are often called a man’s best friend. In this constantly changing world, where people look for more convenient and easy-to-use alternatives for everything, this best friend of ours has also evolved into a ‘smart’ friend with the concept of an e-book. Wondering what is an ebook and how does it work? Keep reading to find out!

What Is An Ebook?

An ebook is a book presented in a format that allows you to read it on an electronic device like a computer or handheld device. Several books that are available in printed versions can be found as ebooks. These include everything from bestselling fiction, classics to reference and academic texts. An ebook can consist of electronic text or also include audio, video or hyperlinks.

Do You Know? The first ebook was invented as early as 1971 when Michael S. Hart launched Project Gutenberg and made a digital copy of the US Declaration of Independence. This was the first eBook in the world.

How Do I Read An Ebook?

Currently, there are three prevalent ways to read an ebook:

1. Portable ebook reading devices

Portable ebook reading devices are small hand-held computers that simulate the book reading experience. They are sized the same as a paperback, work on battery power and have a back-lit screen. They display texts downloaded from a computer and let the reader search for keywords, add notes, and hyperlinks.

2. Using special softwares on PC devices

You can download free reader software packages from the internet—for example, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Edge Reader are commonly used.

3. Handheld computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs)

The free software packages described above are also available for handheld computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

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Advantages

No messy pages and no lost bookmarks! Ebooks have multiple advantages over printed books. These are as follows: 

  • Greater speed: You do not have to go through the time-consuming process of trying to search for a book in libraries or wait for it to be delivered to you physically. An ebook can be downloaded within seconds over the internet, provided it is available.
  • More Portability: Storing books can be a struggle. Several ebooks can be stored on one device, making it ideal for travelling too! PDAs are an excellent medium for travel guide books.
  • Print on-demand: Books need no longer go out of print. You can print ebooks on demand if required.
  • Increased Interactivity: You can take notes, highlight and underline, bookmark pages without being messy and losing your bookmark! You can explore and gain bonus information through hyperlinks.
  • Personalisation: The display can be personalised like the back-lighting, and font size can be increased. This feature makes it ideal for the visually impaired.
  • Add-ons: Many ebooks have searchable text, thesaurus and dictionaries, and many other features.
  • Open market: Writers can avoid the publishing process by publishing electronically directly to the open market. 
  • Environmentally friendly: Millions of trees are cut down every year to make paper. Paper-free books have the potential to save trees.

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What Are The Disadvantages Of Ebooks?

Everything on this planet has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Similar is the case with an ebook. After knowing what is an ebook and about its advantages, let us now go through some of the disadvantages of the same:

  • The quantity of books available in ebook format is still pretty limited. 
  • If downloaded onto a computer, you cannot print out an ebook due to specific permission requirements and restrictions. 
  • Quite a few of these online books are available in Mac-friendly formats.

Also Read: eBooks vs Printed Books: Which are better?

How Much Do They Cost?

While we’ve already answered questions like ‘what is an ebook?’ and ‘how you can use it?’ Talking about any convenience tool without mentioning its cost is futile, isn’t it?

Most books are often a one-time read, hence paying a high price for the paperbacks of books might be a pinch in our pockets. Ebooks solve this problem. An ebook is generally more affordable than paperbacks, costing between £2 to £6 (INR 200- 600). There is no additional delivery fee and, if you’re downloading them onto your computer, the software is generally free and pre-downloaded. The costs may come down even further soon. 

Credits: Lifehacker

We’ve already discussed the various devices where you can read an ebook.  Here we will explore ‘what is an ebook reader or eReader’. A handheld device called an eReader (electronic reader) has been developed to read and store ebooks in recent years. Some of the popular eReader devices are:

  • Amazon’s Kindle
  • Rakuten’s Kobo
  • Barnes & Noble’s Nook

Some of these devices have built-in lighting to enable readers to continue reading once, even if they do not have access to light. Companies like Amazon and Kobo built apps that enable you to continue reading from any device where the app is downloaded. EReaders are constantly developing these attractive features because, if not an ultimate convenience tool. 

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From Where Can I Purchase Ebooks? 

  • WHSmith
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Amazon
  • Leverage Edu
  • Directly from the publisher (Penguin, HarperCollins, and Random House all have ebook sections on their websites, worth exploring for newer fiction titles.)

Leverage Edu Ebooks 

Leverage Edu also provides an online library of more than a hundred ebooks on topics related to studying abroad, exploring career options and scholarships and tips to build your profile. You can have a look at our plethora of resources at Leverage Edu E-books.

Download free Ebook – Study in Canada

Future

Dick Brass, Microsoft’s Vice President of Technology and Development, in the year 2000 had said that, by 2020, “90% of everything you read will be delivered in an electronic form.” Ebooks are part of nothing short of an evolution. Hence it is safe to say that those in the ebook market who adapt will survive and profit. It is only a digital file, identical to an app, a music track, or a movie. It’s logical to assume that what has happened to every other market sector will happen to these also. Subscription services have already sprung with Amazon and others, and there will be more moving into this model by necessity. Another model for applications, mainly, that has worked well is the revenue model supported by advertising. More technological advancements may be the key to the next phase of ebook growth. 

Check out our Ebook Store here!

We hope this article was helpful! Visit Leverage Edu ebooks to access our variety of online reading materials! For more informative content, keep following us on Leverage Edu. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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