eBooks are just like traditional paperback books except they are electronic copies that you read on electronic devices such as computers, mobile or tablet devices. Just like traditional books, they can contain both text and images but also offer a host of benefits (see below), however they are not always attuned to everybody’s taste and some prefer the tactile feel of a book and the feeling of turning a page of paper as they read.
Why use eBooks?
eBooks have become very popular recently due to its many advantages and accessibility features. Some of the features are listed below with an explanation of each.
One feature of eBooks is an interactive contents page (or Table of Contents), so it becomes easy to identify a chapter to read and allows easy navigation to that section with a tap (for touch screen devices) or click. Also the Table of Contents is easily accessible on most eBook readers. Whilst reading the book mid way through, users can access the Table of Contents through via a menu, and can either navigate to another section or cancel and go back to where you left off.
Most eBook readers have the ability to perform a search. Therefore if you want to search for a term or phrase that you have previously read within a book and can’t remember what page you read it on, simply enter it in the search facility and it will quickly locate it and take you to the correct page.
Just like traditional books, you can add bookmarks to pages within eBooks. One major advantage in eBooks is the ability to navigate through your bookmarks with ease. You can have an unlimited amount of bookmarks within an eBook. Imagine navigating through 50+ bookmarks within a traditional book, there would be lots of page flicking, with eBooks you get a nice list of bookmarks that you can select and the device will navigate to that page.
Highlighting in eBooks is a neat function for marking sections of text that can be deemed important by the reader. Of course this can also be done on traditional books, but with eBooks highlights can be made, deleted and amended which makes highlighting more flexible.
With traditional books, it was very easy to make notes within the margins of a page, however sometimes you need a little more space for making notes. With eBooks, making notes in margins is more flexible as notes are indicated with a maker and displayed separately meaning they can be as short or long as you need them to be.
Most eBook readers have a built-in dictionary which is really handy for those times where you don’t know the meaning of a certain word. Whereas with traditional books you would have to note the word and find a dictionary to manually look it up. With eBooks its as simple as highlighting the word and simply selecting the dictionary option, the meaning is displayed instantly causing minimal fuss and leaving more time to read less time to look words up.
Change text size
eBooks are designed to be flexible and this is evident with the ability to change the text size. If you prefer to have more words on a page you can make the text smaller, or if you eyesight is impaired you can boost up the text size to make reading more easier.
Change text style
Perhaps you like reading books with a certain text style. Some people prefer to read in a Serif style and others prefer a San-serif style. With eBooks this is easy as users can simply change the text style in the settings. Examples of different text styles are: Times New Roman or Verdana.
Multiple books on a single device
Another great advantage of eBooks is about storage. For 100 traditional books you will need a large bookcase, for 100 eBooks you will need only one eBook reader. Meaning if you are travelling lots, you can carry all of your reading materials around with you in your bag or even your pocket. Also if you have multiple eBook readers, you can usually sync your eBooks among your devices, giving you extra flexibility on how you read your eBooks.
How can I view eBooks?
eBooks can be read through eBook readers which can come in many forms.
The worlds most popular eBook reader is the Amazon Kindle. Amazon have created this device solely for reading eBooks, however they have also created some software options too. Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac allows you to read and manage your eBooks on your computer. Also they have the Kindle app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Apple have also created an application for their mobile devices called iBooks which also allows you to read eBooks on their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
Likewise their are multiple applications available for Android devices so people who already own Android smart phones or tablet devices can read eBooks on these electronic devices.