* An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read by using a personal computer or by using an eBook reader. Users can purchase an eBook on diskette or CD, but the most popular method of getting an eBook is to purchase a downloadable file of the eBook from a Web site (such as Barnes and Noble) to be read from the users computer or reading device.
They are popular because theyenable options similar to thoseof a paper book - readers canbookmark pages, make notes,highlight passages, and saveselected text. In addition tothese familiar possibilities,eBook readers also include built-in dictionaries, and alterable fontsizes and styles
The electronic book (eBook) was born in 1971,with the first steps of Project Gutenberg, adigital library for books from public domain. It isnearly 40 years old, already. But this is ashort life compared to the 5-century old printbook.
1993: A company, Digital Book Inc, offers customers afloppy disk containing 50 ebooks encoded in theDigital Book Format (.dbf) format.1995: Amazon starts selling printed books online, andsoon comes to dominate the market.1996: Project Gutenberg announces that it hasdigitized 1,000 books. Its target is one million titles.1998: The first eBook readers appear in the market:The Soft book and Gemstar’s Rocket eBook Reader(pic)
The internet went live in 1974, with thecreation of the protocol TCP/IP by VintonCerf and Bob Kahn. It began spreadingin 1983 as a network for researchcenters and universities. It got its firstboost with the invention of the web byTim Berners-Lee in 1990, and its secondboost with the release of the firstbrowser Mosaic in 1993. From 1994onwards, the internet quickly spreadworldwide.
In1998,After17years of going it alone, MichaelHart linked up with the University of Illinois PCUser Group.By the end of 1998 he had over 10000volunteers and1600 eBooks had been keyedin! e-texts are named as ebooks. On 1998there were 7000 titles indexed and searchableby title, author or subject.
1999: Several online retailers start selling e-books, such as eReader.com and eReads.com.2000: Microsoft releases Microsoft Reader,dedicated e-book reading software. It could beused on Windows computers and Pocke tPCs,and used Clear Type technology to ensure thetype was legible on small devices. StephenKing’s Riding the Bullet is offered in a digitalformat, to read on a computer.
2003: EBooks stumble asdemand remains poor andpaper books remain a steadfastfavourite; Gemstar closes itsdoors in July, Barnes & Noblestops selling eBooks at itsonline store. Critics say theeBooks trend will not last.
2004: Sony releases the Librié,the first eBook reader to utilizeeIink (electronic ink) technology.Gone is the annoying glare frombacklit screens in earlier eBookreaders or on PDAs that strainthe eyes. Now, words on thescreen have almost the sameclarity as words printed on paper.2004: Google Print and GoogleBook Search, which would laterbecome known as GoogleBooks, are announced at theFrankfurt book fair.2005: Amazon acquiresMobipocket, a software companythat built ebook reading softwarefor portable devices.
2007: Amazon unveils the Kindle, a dedicted e-book reader thatcan download e-books over Wi-Fi or the mobile network from theAmazon website.2008: Books on Board (booksonboard.com) starts selling eBooksfor iPhones, the first online eBook store to do so. A collection ofEuropean digital libraries with digitalized paintings, books and films,is officially launched.August 2009: Sony links with libraries via the Overdrive digitalnetwork to enable people to borrow eBooks from libraries. Amongthe countries that have eBook borrowing are the United States andSingapore (no, Malaysia doesn’t have it).
October 2009: Amazon.com releases Kindle 2, and shipsit to more than 100 countries (no, Malaysia is not amongthem). In this month also, Barnes & Noble releases itsown eBook reader, Nook.November 2009: Students of the private Canadiansecondary school, Blyth Academy, are supplied withSony Readers loaded with their textbooks. It is the firstschool in the world to do this.December 2009: Five major publishers, Conde Nast,Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time Inc, announcethat they will join forces to develop a format and anonline store to beat Amazon.com’ s stranglehold on theeBook market. And on Christmas day, eBooks outsellphysical books on Amazon.com for the first time ever.
January 2010 – At the Consumers electronic show, manynew e-readers from Asus, Sony, Plastic Logic, Samsungand more, drive a frenzy of attention to e-readers andebooks.April 2010 – The Apple iPad debuts, and the iBookstoresells half a million e-books in less than a month. BENQand True Digital Form a partnership in Asia, and create anew Bookstore, creating a true e-book conglomeratearises in the east.May 2010 – Penguin Publishing and Amazon have afalling out, and Penguin has pulled all e-books from theAmazon Book Store and has decided to setup shop withApple. Google Editions is slated for an August releasethat offers publishers and authors a platform to sell booksdirectly from their website, having Google host the Book,Checkout process and more, seeking to change thecurrent e-book distribution methodology.