Among the many reasons to buy e-books are the convenience, the savings, the value and the “try before you buy” promise that comes with each download. You can use the services from any one of your sites and locations; your own home, your laptop, or Personal Computer, your iphone, Palm Pilot or Blackberry. In fact, you can download and store them all in one transaction if that.  is what you wish to do. Even though the e-book is relatively new to the world of digital text its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Technology has produced a great product with the potential to involve millions in the pastime of reading (mobile-apps-games-knoji.com, n.d., Ezine Articles, n.d.).

By Majid Al Mualla


 ImageThe digital or electronic book is a digital replica of actual writing from the original author. Manuals and other technical documents were the subjects of the first e-books so the target audience was limited (mobile-apps-games-knoji.com, n.d.). Still, when the first e-books appeared on the web in the 1990s their impact on readers everywhere was swift and powerful.  The new concept that this technology represented was book accessibility for everyone.  Digital files could be downloaded or the reader could buy a CD that features an electronic book encrypted on the disc.  This meant that it was now possible to choose to read books by your favourite authors without having to pack around a bulky hardcover or risk the chance of loss. E-books by the hundreds became part of the digital library you could store on your personnel digital assistant (PDA) or laptop (Ezine Articles, n.d.).  New technology and new models are being introduced, still, the three most dominant e-reader tools are Kindle, by Amazon; PRS-500 by Sony and Cybook Gen3. Books can also be read on IPad, recently put out by Apple (mobile-apps-games-knoji.com, n.d.).


The chief developer of ebooks and the culture that makes them endure is Adobe Acrobat. The PDF formats that Adobe offers are compatible with all types of storage units, including PCs, laptops and, in recent, years, digital phones.  Ebooks can be accessed, transferred, printed and sent by e-mail from any electronic storage source, and best of all, they can be retrieved easily whether the addressee is flying, cruising or travelling by train. Advances in digital technologies have made it possible for readers to have instant access to thousands of books and possible for authors to present those books to the reader in a variety of exciting and innovative ways.  Digital reading through the concept of e-books has put a whole new meaning into book-reading, and a whole lot of books into the hands (or eyes) of readers (Ezine Articles, n.d.).

Notable Developments


September, 2003, ACLS History e-book project celebrated one year online. The project was launched with a 500 book library on History.  This month, 275 additional History books will be added to the project.  The project now has over 160 institutions subscribing and plans to add many “born digital” books to the source in 2004 (humanitiesebook.org, 2003).

October of 2003, a new white paper was published online. The paper, by e-publishing specialist, Nancy, Lin was named “Report on Technology Development and Production Workflow for XML Encoded E-Books,” and was shown on the History E-Book Project Website (humanitiesebook.org, 2003)

Second Quarter, 2010, the sale of e-books ( electronic books)  outsold hardcover print books on the Amazon.com site- an outstanding accomplishment in the e-book revolution (Amazon, 2010).



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