The history of the phenomenon dates back in 1971, when Michael S. Hart got unrestricted access to the Xerox Sigma V at the University of Illinois. Trying to adequately use the resource, he created the first eBook – he scanned the United States Declaration of Independence. The initiative has become a first step to widely known today the Project Gutenberg.
Ebooks can be distributed in files of different types, such as:
- Ebooks in the form of plain text (plain text), formatted text (rich text format), Electronic Publication open format (.epub), (OPF FlipBook), FictionBook, OpenDocument, XML, SGML, (.fb2), Microsoft HTMLHelp (.chm),, PDF, TeX, eReader (.lit), ExeBook, Mobipocket (.prc), PostScript (.ps, .eps), and others;
- Ebooks in the form of raster graphics – DjVu, JPEG, TIFF, etc.;
- Ebooks in the form of multimedia book – audio books, multimedia books, EXE, SWF, etc.;
- Ebooks in the form of java-midlet for mobile devices, such as cell phones with java (J2ME) or PDA.
- Ebooks in the form of applications for a particular operating system, which include, in addition to the contents of the book, and even a dedicated viewer. In addition, such a type of ebook is usually protected from copying.
- Some file types (PostScript, OpenDocument, MS Word DOC, PDF, etc.) can also contain raster or vector graphic in addition to the text.
- Modern electronic books in addition to text also contain multiple channels of perception: sound, music, visual-dynamic (photos and galleries) and interactive-mental.
The advantages compared to paper books are the following:
- small volume (hundreds of thousands of ebooks can be stored on a compact disk);
- Full-Text Search (if the text of the book is recognized or typed);
- changeable type size and headsets;
- oral reproduction of the text books (audio book, text-to-speech);
- reading with no extra light (on backlit devices);
- low cost of distribution (often free);
- significantly shorter time to publication (a week for e-books, and six months for the paper book);
- ecology (it saves trees);
On the other hand, ebooks have their disadvantages:
- absence of an aesthetic component, expressed in a tangible medium and elements of design;
- dependence on the availability of electronic devices;
- potential incompatibility with the new hardware or software;
- screens of some devices quickly cause eye strain;
- text on ebook screen is not as readable as that on paper;
To prepare a good research paper or research proposal on the subject, you should consult free example research paper topics on ebooks. They will help you to understand the idea of the scientific text writing and show you the principles of research project composing and presenting.
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