What are eBooks?
Ebooks online are book-length digital files, which can read be in several formats, with the PDF file being most common now. An ebook often has all the pages and illustrations that the print edition of the same book, except that this edition uses no paper. (Unless you choose to print it out from your computer and home printer). You can buy these ebooks online at Amazon and other sites, or in many cases, download them for free. Once they are on your e-reader, computer, or tablet/iPad, or smart phone, you can open up the file and read it right on the screen in front of you. A click of a link, or a swipe of your finger moves you on to the next page, or back and forth as you please.
What's the right spelling? I see eBooks - ebooks, e-books, etc., used interchangeably.
That's right, people can't seem to agree. The dust has not settled on how to spell it yet. Official resources, such as dictionaries and publishing house standards like 'e-books', but the average person searches in Google for 'ebooks'. Some like the more elegant-looking 'eBooks' (me too), but I understand that other words, like e-mail and Web site have become email and web site, so eventually we will all be using ebook/ebooks too. [I've been irregular myself, but I'll switch to ebooks now for the sake of being consistent].
Most books nowadays are published in both print and digital ebook formats. Authors don't seem to be taken seriously unless they have a book in print, but it appears that more people are reading their ebook on their e-reader instead of buying the paper edition. So it seems, just knowing an author's book is also in print, enhances that author's reputation.
It is easy enough for just about anyone to produce their own ebooks and self-publish them online. I've done that a few years ago. (Want access to my eBooks online?) How successful they are depends on how well they understand marketing, and how much they invest in promotion. But what does this mean to you, the reader and reading in general?
Maybe more than we realize just yet. I say you have to be discerning, and realize that not everything you read is the gospel truth. The writing may show lack of editing and good grammar; does that hinder you from recognizing good or bad content? On the other hand, via the digital media, or ebooks, we get access to a lot of information that the traditional publishers would never print for various doctrinal, political or even prejudice reasons.
Some more advantages of ebooks;
they are light-weight, easy to carry.
A big one for me - I can enlarge the font until it is a comfortable size for me; no need for eye-strain.
Furthermore, you can save hundreds of books on your electronic device, and do not have to find shelf space for them all in your house.
Nor do you have to dust them. Hurrah!
You may read debates online about whether the print books - the ones on paper - are going the way of the dodo bird. Some say that print books are going to be as rare as typewriters! Ebooks will reign.
If that's true, I think print books are dying a slow death. I'm not about to give all of mine up. It's true I couldn't sell many at my yardsale, and I read about one person who glued a bunch of old Readers Digest Condensed books together to form furniture. But while e-readers are making it easier and more popular to download and read books on an electronic screen - there are still plenty of book lovers yet, who like the physical feel of a good book in their hands.
You can buy ebooks online at sites like Amazon, and many other book sites, and for quite reasonable prices - as low as .99. However there are also many free ebooks online. Lots of website owners are discovering that if they want to lure people to their sites, they need to put some of their information together in a free ebook. When I first went on the internet in 1999, I couldn't afford to buy anything, but I was hungry for knowledge and I regularly downloaded free ebooks to my computer and gained a free education that way on my favourite topics.
Mind you, i reached the point where my downloads folder had dozens, maybe even hundreds of ebooks that I was not getting around to reading. Even now, I have such a busy pace that the books I really want to read are usually print copies that I put in the bathroom. I don't get them read all at once, but I do finish one every few days or weeks (depending on size). My ebooks have become more like reference files on my computer; I read then as I have need.
My main peeve with getting such ebooks online now is that I have to give my email address. By that we are giving them permission to send us their newsletters with ads. It's called permission advertising. Sometimes those newsletters can have valuable information, but more often they are just blatant ads. Of course, we can unsubscribe shortly afterward if we click on the links that have to be provided at the bottom of such emails. But that may cut us off from further free downloads, so it pays to take the time to read the fine print.
Many classic books, where the copyright has run out, are now being turned into ebooks and put online. So if there are some books you have long wished to read, but couldn't afford, you will most likely find those as ebooks online free on someone's site.
If you travel a lot or have plenty of couch time, you should be able to get a lot read on your e-reader.
With a little effort you will find more such sites, but here are a few to introduce you to classic books, now available in ebook formats.
Do you know other sites to recommend for their FREE ebooks? Why not give us a link in the Facebook comments below? You may comment on how you feel about ebooks vs. print books as well. You may have a viewpoint I have not heard of yet.