This is the "Electronic Books" page of the "Electronic Books" guide.
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Last Updated: Mar 19, 2014 URL: http://libguides.trumbull.kent.edu/electronic_books Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Electronic Books Print Page
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Typical Features

Typical Features

  • Clickable table of contents
  • Seach within the book
  • Navigate through pages
  • Print 30-60 pages
  • Export to RefWorks (see RefWorks help for each collection)
  • Stable links to specific books (see XLinks help for each collection)

Not so Typical Features

  • Search word navigation
  • Xlickable index
  • Ability to create notes
  • Ability to highlight text
  • Ability to copy and paste text
  • Magnify text
  • Jump to a page
  • Stable links to specific articles
  • Ability to download to a hand-held device
 

Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Books

Advantages of E-books

  • Available wherever you have an internet connection
  • Weight and size depend upon the device you use
  • Adjustable font and size
  • Searchable
  • Digital note-taking, bookmarking, etc
  • Media can be embedded into e-books
  • Hyperlinking is available within and outside of the e-book

Disadvantages of E-books

  • Require hardware and software
  • Limited availability of titles
  • No secondhand market for e-books
  • Limited availability of loaning arrangements
  • Backlit screens can cause eye strain
 

What are Ebooks?

An e-book is simply a book in electronic form that can be purchased and read on portable handheld devices. There are many devices currently on the market, including the iPad, the Kindle, the KOBO, the NOOK, the Sony Reader, the Playbook and more.

Some devices are mini-computers, called tablets, while others are dedicated devices for reading, called e-readers. Reading is done on a screen that is usually the size of a book, but can vary. The devices give the customer options for how to view pages, such as the sizing, font styles, brightness, and more. Touch screens or buttons allow the reader to navigate through the pages. Pages can be bookmarked, dictionary definitions can be found on demand, and sometimes web links are included to enhance the experience. The tablets and e-readers can hold hundreds of books at a time. - Essence Publishing.

 

Overview of OhioLink's Electronic Book Center (EBC)

OhioLINK’s growing collection of 81,000 e-books covers a wide variety of subjects and includes scholarly monographs; encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works (for tracking down a quick fact or illustration); and computer and technology titles (for in-depth, how-to books and technology tips).

 

E-Book Devices

The following comparison shows the file formats supported by manufacturers of some of the most common devices.

eReader Device PDF EPUB Kindle Mobipocket TXT HTML
Amazon Kindle
Android Devices
Apple iOS Devices
(iPad, iPhone, iPod)
Barnes & Noble Nook
Kobo Reader
Sony Reader

Please note that some unsupported file formats can be viewed on these devices using either a third party reader application or by converting to a supported file format.  For instance, the calibre desktop software can convert to and from a number of the formats listed above.  You can find a detailed discussion of the uses and limitations of calibre conversion in their FAQs.

For further information, Wikipedia has an article comparing e-book reader devices that can be found here.

E-Book Reader Software

The following table compares many of the common e-book reader software packages available.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

eReader Software Desktop Mobile
Adobe Digital Editions Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Aldiko Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Amazon Kindle Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Apple iBooks Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Apple iTunes * Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Barnes & Noble Nook Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Bluefire Reader Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
calibre * Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
FBReader Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Kobo Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
MobiPocket Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch
Sony Reader Linux | Mac | Windows Android | Blackberry | iPad | iPhone/iPod Touch

* Note that Apple iTunes and calibre function as media management software that also facilitates file transfers to devices.  Calibre also supports converting to and from many e-book formats.

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E-book File Formats

E-books are distributed in a variety of file formats.  The following are some of the most commonly used standards.

  • .pdf (PDF)
    Adobe's Portable Document Format is an open standard widely used for a variety of purpose, including the publication and distribution of e-books. Most eReaders support PDF. The format can contain DRM.
  • .epub (EPUB)
    EPUB is an open file format intended to be used for e-books. Most eReaders support EPUB. The format can contain DRM.
  • .azw (Kindle)
    AZW is Amazon Kindle's proprietary document format. Files purchased or borrowed from Amazon are provided using this format. It utilizes DRM.
  • .mobi (Mobipocket)
    Mobipocket was an early form of e-reader software. Recently, it has become synonymous with its native file format .mobi. The format can contain DRM.
  • .txt (Text file)
    TXT is a very simple file format used to store unformatted text. Due to the very rudimentary nature of the format, almost every software package capable of rendering text can open these files.
  • .htm, .html (HTML)
    Hypertext Markup Language is used to construct web pages. Some e-books are presented as web pages.
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