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E-books in todays world and their future - Essay Example

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Summary
Printed books have a long history behind them, but it was not until Johannes Gutenberg's invented his printing press that books became widely spread. In the 19th century, creation of the industrial techniques of paper manufacturing negatively affected the quality and longevity of printed books…
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E-books in todays world and their future
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E-books in todays world and their future

Download file to see previous pages... In fact, books have ceased to be the central method of transferring information prior to proliferation of the Internet and World Wide Web:
"In many ways, we have, for better or worse, already moved beyond the book. Even on the crudest, most materialist standard involving financial returns, we no longer find the book at the center of our culture as the primary means of recording and disseminating information and entertainment. The sales of books and other printed matter, for centuries the centre of our technology of cultural memory, have now fallen to fourth position behind the sales of television, cinema, and video games" (Landlow, 1996, p. 23)
Although printed books still continue to play a highly significant social role, electronic formats seem to hold more long-term potential for becoming the typical format for transferring knowledge and information. For example, many electronic journals have already become arguably more popular than their printed versions among the scholarly community (Mercer, 2000). There are many issues relating to the characteristics and use of e-Books, and it remains uncertain how popular they will become.
Despite common perception that e-Books is the product of new millennium, they "[It] began in 1971 when Michael Hart was given an operator's account $100,000,000 of computer time in it by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Labs at the University of Illinois" (Hart, 1992). In an attempt to devise what to do with his newly found 'wealth' Hart concluded that the real value of computers would not be in actual computing, but in storage, retrieval, and searching of libraries. Therefore, he created the first e-Book, the Declaration of Independence. Thus, Project Gutenberg and the e-Book got its start. Project Gutenberg still exist as one of the top libraries of free e-books anywhere and one of the most visited sites for e-Books (Hart, 1992).
Popularization of the Internet to households in the middle 1990s made Hart's idea exceptionally topical. Online e-Book stores that offered access to newly published and popular books for a fee started appearing on the net at striking speed. With popularity of the internet and the emergence of other digital media formats such as mp3 for music and DVDs, many businesses traditionally involved in conventional printing matters, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, invested seriously in e-Books to make profits in future.






Types of Electronic Books
With the help of intermediate software applications, existing electronic files and documents can be converted into electronic texts that can be loaded onto e-Books for reading (Morgan, 1999). Two major types of electronic books currently exist, with a third format still developing. The first type, Web books, is an electronic text which can be viewed or accessed via the World Wide Web. Evidently, reader needs a computer with an Internet connection and the necessary reader software to read such books. For example, Project Gutenberg is a long-established online library containing huge amount of electronic texts. These Web books are of non-copyrighted materials in the public domain, and are presented in a basic format of plain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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