“ebook: (noun) a book that is published in electronic form, for example on the Internet or on a disk, and not printed on paper” – Cambridge.org
Most people use the two best known spellings: ebook or e-book. But there are numerous other versions of the term (eBook, Ebook) used to refer to the digital version of reading material which may include novels, short stories, research documents and magazines. Some traditional readers still resist the switch because they need the familiarity of a physical book. But for many, the lure of the ebook lies in the many advantages it offers over the paper version.
Ebooks give you the convenience of carrying your personal library in your pocket! You no longer have to carry heavy bags full of books or research documents. Or have chunky textbooks cluttering up your desk and other work places.
You can keep all your reading material, including work-related text and papers, in the digital format. This will not only save you physical space but will also help you organize all of it so that you have easy access to all your reading matter at all times. You can use multiple devices to access your ebooks (personal computer, tablet, cell phone) and this gives you a lot of flexibility with respect to scheduling. You can do your work or catch up on your reading while you are travelling and you can easily switch between books if you are the kind of reader who reads more than one book at a time. The mobility that an ebook confers on a reader cannot be matched by the physical book.
Saving on Storage Space
Book lovers who own loads of books know the amount of storage space that books take up in a home. The traditional means of wall-to-wall bookshelves can now be replaced by a single digital device. Your entire physical library can be transferred to a single, handheld device or to your computer. Your library can grow to the size of the disk space available and it is safe to say that you will never run out of storage space for your ebooks. In fact, you will probably have enough storage space for two digital libraries and you can have a backup of the entire set of ebooks to insure against damage.
For students the convenience of ebooks over paper books cannot be overstated. Since the downloads are instant for ebooks, there is no worry about textbooks not being in stock or delayed delivery of required books. Since the digital textbooks are available on the digital device, there is also no worry about of losing the textbooks or leaving them behind. An important feature of the ebooks is that they can be kept up to date more easily than traditional textbooks. While regular textbooks become dated very quickly, an ebook available for sale can be the most updated version with the most up-to-the-minute information.
Ebooks also accommodate many learning styles and this makes it easier on students whose learning is enhanced by videos, infographics, diagrams and audio explanations. This enrichment in learning process cannot be experienced by students who only have access to traditional textbooks. Information changes rapidly today.
According to a recent survey, the average student spends $1200 every year on textbooks alone. There is a large saving to be made if a student switches to ebooks since digital books are usually cheaper than traditional textbooks. Even outside the academic circles, readers can take advantage of the fact that there are no printing fees or delivery costs associated with ebooks. In fact, it is not uncommon to have access to free, legal downloads for ebooks but paper books almost always have some cost attached to them. For those who purchase books regularly, this can lead to substantial saving over a period of time.
With a digital library at hand, the next book is always just a moment away. There is no time spent in planning and compiling reading material for a holiday or a long ride across town. Everything is accessible in one single device that you have to grab before leaving the house. When it comes to making a new purchase, the entire process from selection to purchase to reading can take just a few minutes. You can save on time going to the bookstore or waiting for online delivery of the paperback.
Ease of use
Not all ebooks have the same settings but almost all have some common features that provide for ease of use and enhanced readability. Most ebooks have adjustable font size and background color or brightness. This makes the text easier on the eye, especially for older people or when doing nighttime reading.
The search feature in the ebook is very convenient in locating a given piece of information. In addition, the text can be hyperlinked and it is possible to move back and forth between chapters and the glossary. These features make it very convenient for students to study and complete schoolwork and assignments. Ebooks allow readers to bookmark the text, highlight the text or add and delete notes –just like traditional textbooks. However, unlike paper books, these markings can be deleted or altered as required without defacing the pages.
Easy maintenance and long lasting
In case of ebooks, you can keep your entire digital library safe by using cloud storage, portable devices or external hard drive. Unlike traditional books, ebooks are less susceptible to theft, fire or any other physical disaster. Also unlike paper books, which are susceptible to wear and tear and ageing, ebooks require very little maintenance over the years.
Ever since ebooks arrived on the scene, there has been a ceaseless ebooks versus print books debate with each side digging in heels and looking to “win the war”. But the reality may be that while there is room for both types of books in the market, ebooks are not going to disappear anytime soon. So happy coexistence may be the way this war will eventually play out.