As with any newly available technological product, the e-book is causing waves of excitement around the globe. Previously used for academia due to its search features and clear format, the e-book is now widely available to the general public in a variety of guises. It has many advantages and disadvantages in comparison to the printed book, and as a result, the e-book already has excited followers and stern disbelievers. Yet love it or hate it; the e-book is here to stay, with sales predicted to rocket in the near future.
One of the main advantages of the e-book is that it is low in cost. There are no printing costs, storage fees or postal prices involved. Therefore, the prices can remain low which is always an attractive proposition for the consumer and publisher alike. The e-book is also less cumbersome, which makes it storage efficient. A standard e-book without picture files takes up little memory and so a CD can store an average of approximately 500 e-books.
This means there can be a wealth of information and entertainment stored in an economical way. Also, the text can be made suitable for all readers. Adobe versions have zoom features which can easily enlarge images and texts for clearer viewing, but these often have page sizing that does not fit the more portable screens and are difficult to adjust.
The small memory space also makes the e-book compatible with modern mobile living. e-books are portable and can be used on iPods, some mobile phones and also notebook computers. They can be read in low lighting with a backlight feature which makes the e-books fantastic for travelling and night time reading. However, compatible software is required as the formatting options are quite vast. Therefore, make sure you understand the requirements before purchase as some of the equipment can be expensive to buy as additional extras. Also, battery life is a factor when using portable electronic devices to read an e-book.
Many ebooks are packaged in bundles for efficiency, and as soon as payment is received ebooks are received electronically in an instant. This saves costs and is both time efficient and convenient. An advantage worth noting is that ebooks can be written in Unicode which means that any ebook of this format can be changed into various languages using simple commands.
This has made them popular as prizes for online competitions. However, as ebooks are subject to copyright, they can not be as easily shared as printed books. Some versions can only be downloaded to a specific destination. Once downloaded, they are permanent but not transferable. Check this before purchase.
Ebooks offer many great features. Firstly they offer a comprehensive content search so you can find information immediately, making the ebook very time efficient. e-books can produce multimedia effects such as audio and visual clips, which enhance the experience.
Some can even provide what is known as
scripting opportunities so that the reader can have a say in the outcome of the story. ebooks create interest for any reader, but can be a particularly good way to attract disaffected child readers to this necessary skill. For people who already enjoy reading, however, the e-book may prove less aesthetic to read.
Another advantage that is worth noting is the effects on the environment. Without the use of ink and paper printing, mistakes can easily be corrected without any further damage to the environment. Although the e-book can be printed if required, this is a matter of personal choice. The e-book proves to be environmentally and economically sound.