Terminology[ edit ] A woman reading an e-book on an e-reader E-books are also referred to as "ebooks", "eBooks", "Ebooks", "e-Books", "e-journals", "e-editions", or "digital books". A device that is designed specifically for reading e-books is called an "e-reader", "ebook device", or "eReader". History[ edit ] The Readies [ edit ] Some trace the concept of an e-reader, a device that would enable the user to view books on a screen, to a manifesto by Bob Brown , written after watching his first " talkie " movie with sound.
He titled it The Readies, playing off the idea of the "talkie". A simple reading machine which I can carry or move around, attach to any old electric light plug and read hundred-thousand-word novels in 10 minutes if I want to, and I want to. Brown's notion, however, was much more focused on reforming orthography and vocabulary, than on medium "It is time to pull out the stopper" and begin "a bloody revolution of the word.
Later e-readers never followed a model at all like Brown's; however, he correctly predicted the miniaturization and portability of e-readers. In an article, Jennifer Schuessler writes, "The machine, Brown argued, would allow readers to adjust the type size, avoid paper cuts and save trees, all while hastening the day when words could be 'recorded directly on the palpitating ether.
Schuessler correlates it with a DJ spinning bits of old songs to create a beat or an entirely new song, as opposed to just a remix of a familiar song. Some notable candidates include the following: Her idea was to create a device which would decrease the number of books that her pupils carried to school. The final device was planned to include audio recordings, a magnifying glass, a calculator and an electric light for night reading. However, this work is sometimes omitted; perhaps because the digitized text was a means for studying written texts and developing linguistic concordances, rather than as a published edition in its own right.
All these systems also provided extensive hyperlinking , graphics, and other capabilities. Van Dam is generally thought to have coined the term "electronic book",   and it was established enough to use in an article title by Thus in the Preface to Person and Object he writes "The book would not have been completed without the epoch-making File Retrieval and Editing System Hart [ edit ] Despite the extensive earlier history, several publications report Michael S.
Hart as the inventor of the e-book. Seeking a worthy use of this resource, he created his first electronic document by typing the United States Declaration of Independence into a computer in plain text.
Early implementations[ edit ] After Hart first adapted the U. Declaration of Independence into an electronic document in , Project Gutenberg was launched to create electronic copies of more texts, especially books.
Department of Defense began concept development for a portable electronic delivery device for technical maintenance information called project PEAM, the Portable Electronic Aid for Maintenance.
Four prototypes were produced and delivered for testing in , and tests were completed in The final summary report was produced in by the U. Peter Kincaid. Harkins and Stephen H. Morriss as inventors. One of the electronic publications that could be played on the Data Discman was called The Library of the Future.
The scope of the subject matter of these e-books included technical manuals for hardware, manufacturing techniques, and other subjects. A notable feature was automatic tracking of the last page read so that on returning to the 'book' you were taken back to where you had previously left off reading.
The title of this stack may have been the first instance of the term 'ebook' used in the modern context. Comparison of e-book formats Reading an e-book on public transit As e-book formats emerged and proliferated,[ citation needed ] some garnered support from major software companies, such as Adobe with its PDF format that was introduced in Different e-reader devices followed different formats, most of them accepting books in only one or a few formats, thereby fragmenting the e-book market even more.
Due to the exclusiveness and limited readerships of e-books, the fractured market of independent publishers and specialty authors lacked consensus regarding a standard for packaging and selling e-books. In the late s, a consortium formed to develop the Open eBook format as a way for authors and publishers to provide a single source-document which many book-reading software and hardware platforms could handle.
Focused on portability, Open eBook as defined required subsets of XHTML and CSS ; a set of multimedia formats others could be used, but there must also be a fallback in one of the required formats , and an XML schema for a "manifest", to list the components of a given e-book, identify a table of contents, cover art, and so on. Google Books has converted many public domain works to this open format. Unofficial and occasionally unauthorized catalogs of books became available on the web, and sites devoted to e-books began disseminating information about e-books to the public.
Consumer e-book publishing market are controlled by the "Big Five". The "Big Five" publishers are: In , libraries began offering free downloadable popular fiction and non-fiction e-books to the public, launching an e-book lending model that worked much more successfully for public libraries.
National Library of Medicine has for many years provided PubMed , a comprehensive bibliography of medical literature. In early , NLM set up the PubMed Central repository, which stores full-text e-book versions of many medical journal articles and books, through cooperation with scholars and publishers in the field. Pubmed Central also now provides archiving and access to over 4. Despite the widespread adoption of e-books, some publishers and authors have not endorsed the concept of electronic publishing , citing issues with user demand, copyright infringement and challenges with proprietary devices and systems.
This survey found significant barriers to conducting interlibrary loan for e-books. Mellon Foundation. When a library purchases an e-book license, the cost is at least three times what it would be for a personal consumer. However, some studies have found the opposite effect to be true for example, Hilton and Wikey Project Gutenberg has over 52, freely available public domain e-books. Dedicated hardware readers and mobile software[ edit ] See also: Comparison of e-book readers The BEBook e-reader An e-reader , also called an e-book reader or e-book device, is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading e-books and digital periodicals.
An e-reader is similar in form, but more limited in purpose than a tablet. In comparison to tablets, many e-readers are better than tablets for reading because they are more portable, have better readability in sunlight and have longer battery life.
Before the s[ edit ] c. Roberto Busa begins planning the Index Thomisticus. Hart types the US Declaration of Independence into a computer to create the first e-book available on the Internet and launches Project Gutenberg in order to create electronic copies of more books. This vast amount of data could be fit into something the size of a large paperback book, with updates received over the "Sub-Etha". Franklin Computer releases an electronic edition of the Bible that is read on a stand-alone device.
It was later tested on a US aircraft carrier as replacement for paper manuals. Crugnola and I. Rigamonti design and create the first e-reader, called Incipit, as a thesis project at the Polytechnic University of Milan. Apple subsequently switches to using Adobe Acrobat. This e-reader, with expandable storage, could store up to , pages of content, including text, graphics and pictures. Oxford University Press makes a selection of its books available as e-books through netLibrary. Comiskey and Jonathan D.
Albert are granted US patents related to displaying electronic books, these patents are later used in the displays for most e-readers. A digitized version of the Gutenberg Bible is made available online at the British Library. Amazon releases the Kindle 2 that includes a text-to-speech feature. Amazon releases the Kindle DX that has a 9. Amazon releases the Kindle for PC application in late , making the Kindle Store library available for the first time outside Kindle hardware.
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