E-book Reader Devices
We now live in the digital age equipped of various electronic devices and technologies. The rapid advancement in technology transformed our lifestyle and practices. Even the conventional reading of books and other reading materials was transformed by the innovations in our today’s electronic age. E-book is a shortened term for electronic book which is a text in digital media equivalent of a printed book. E-books are often protected of the digital rights management system. It is read on personal computers, smart phones or through the device called as e-book readers or e-book devices (Bauer, Meier, Pfaffelmoser & Ziaie, 2006).
E-books are digital reading materials that are not just limited to text that can be displayed in computer or electronic reader devices. E-books are text documents that are converted and transformed in an electronic format that can be viewed utilizing e-book readers, devices and other computer software programs (Cavanaugh, 2005).
E-book is one of the most innovative products in the next few years through the numerous possibilities for integration of different features that the internet and modern devices could provide. Before, e-books were written for limited audience and interested people only. Most of the e-books before were technical manuals for hardware and other subjects. However, numerous e-books emerged and are made available in the internet some of which are supported by software companies like Adobe’s PDF format and some are supported by open-source programmers. Various readers read different formats of e-books, thus, dividing the market of e-books. There is a lack of consensus on the proper and appropriate format of e-books. E-books developed underground markets selling copies of published books. Some authors with books accepted by a publisher publish their works online so others can see it.
Now, new marketing models for e-books were being developed but it has to achieve global distribution. Two e-book readers tend to dominate today’s market, the Amazon’s Kindle model and the Sony’s PRS-500. The e-book reading devices are designed specifically for reading electronic books. Most of these devices are equipped with page-turning systems and touch screen technology for “searching, book marking, highlighting, annotating and font-size changes” (Bidgoli, 2004, p.790). An e-book reading device can store up to 10-20 e-books and can be expanded based on the memory.
The influx of the electronic age make us thought that paper will be out of season. However, there is still a higher demand for printed copies of books than its online versions. The main advantage of an e-book is its compactness that is able to store a number of books than carrying the paperbacks. E-books are very handy and there is no need to flip the pages and hold the book. The e-book readers are also equipped with the feature of book marking that will display the exact page when the device is opened (“Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books”, 2009).
Another main advantage of an e-book is the easy cross-referencing utilizing the hyperlinks wherein the reader can easily jump from one book to another site by just clicking the links. This feature will save the person’s time in finding useful references. E-books are also equipped with rich and versatile features such as animation and even multi-media clips. E-books are also inexpensive than the printed copies for they do not require ink and paper (“Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books”, 2009).
On the other hand, e-books also have some disadvantages. Since the e-books are in digital format, they require computers or electronic reader devices to be displayed. These devices can be quite expensive and may not be compatible with all e-books’ formats. The use of electronic devices will mean consumption of electricity which is an additional cost. Plus, looking at the screen for quite some time may cause eye strain that may lead to defective vision and headache (“Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books”, 2009). Plus, not all authors support the e-versions of books and many still prefer the printed copies for it will lower the value of their books.
The influx of the digital age may be beneficial for us and may render convenience in some aspects of our lifestyle. It also provides innovations on our conventional activities. However, books have always been a significant part of the American life and technology transformed our reading habits. E-book is a great addition to our modern technology and posed a lot of possibilities in increasing our knowledge and encouraging every citizen to read.
Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books. (2009, January 4). Retrieved April 20, 2009, from http://download-success.com/review/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-e-books/.
Bauer, A., Meier, M.J., Pfaffelmoser, T. & Ziaie, P. (2006). Technology Push: Technology as Driver for Product and Service Innovations. Center for Digital Technology and Management. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from http://home.in.tum.de/~ziaie/files/presentations/2006-12-01_CDTM_BasicSeminar_Final-report.pdf.
Bidgoli, H. (2004). The Internet Encyclopedia. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Cavanaugh, T.W. (2005). The Digital Reader: Using E-books in K-12 Education. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.