What are e-book readers

What to know about e-books

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An e-book is a Book in electronic form. The name comes from the English word e-book. This means translated electronic book.

According to Duden, only the spelling is E-book correctly. However, you can often see the spellings eBook or Ebook.

E-books can be read on special reading devices, the e-book readers, as well as on computers, tablets and smartphones.

If you would like to find out more about e-books, you can find the first steps in dealing with e-books here.

First steps

Getting and reading e-books is easy:

  1. download
    Anyone who wants to enjoy e-books can choose one of the numerous sources of supply, select a work and start the download. Anyone who wants to can order e-books directly from the shops integrated in the e-book readers. There you will also find lists of bestsellers and offers.
  2. pay
    After downloading the e-book, it can be paid for. The online shops usually offer the usual payment methods such as direct debit, bank transfer and credit card as payment options. With the numerous free e-books, there is of course no need to pay.
  3. transferred to reader
    The e-books are usually automatically transferred to the desired device via WLAN. If WLAN is not available, e-books can also be copied to the e-book reader using a USB cable. With some models, the transmission even works via cellular network.
  4. read
    Once the desired e-book is on the reader, reading can begin. The article explains why e-book readers are best for reading e-books What should you read e-books with?.

Further possibilities of e-books

Not only can you read e-books, you can do other things with them:

  • read aloud
    Some e-books can be read aloud by certain e-book readers. In the case of German e-books, however, the possibilities for this currently look poor.
  • hand back
    Have you downloaded an e-book by mistake? This is not a problem if you got it from Amazon or eBook.de. You can return it there within 14 days. Things often look bad at other online shops.
  • update
    If a work is changed, buyers can usually download the updated version free of charge.
  • manage
    The best way to manage your own collection of e-books is to use the caliber program. Those who like to sort things can also do this with e-books. E-book readers offer functions for dividing the books into any folder.
  • borrow
    E-books can also be borrowed. Depending on the device, there is at least one possibility to borrow e-books.
  • to lend
    At the moment things are looking bad in Germany when it comes to lending e-books if you don't want to lend the reader.
  • give away
    Books can be given away not only in print, but also in electronic form. In online shops that do not yet allow e-books to be given away, you can take the detour via a voucher.
  • Clear
    If you no longer want certain e-books, you can delete them from the reader. What if you accidentally deleted it? This is usually not a problem. You can often download the e-books again for free from the shop in which you bought them.

Attention: Most online shops do not allow you to resell the e-books purchased there.

Properties of e-books that make printed books look old

In addition to the Reading samples, which are also available for printed books, e-books offer possibilities that cannot be done with printed versions:

  • read on multiple devices
    E-books can usually be read on six devices at the same time. This allows you to view e-books on the e-book reader, PC and tablet at the same time. But you can also use several e-book readers. It is even possible synchronize the reading progress between the respective devices.
  • download several times
    E-books can usually be downloaded several times for free, as the downloaded books are stored in the account of the online shop used. This is useful if you accidentally delete an e-book, lose the reader or something is stolen. In addition, the possibility of multiple downloads means that they remain E-books can also be read in the future.
  • Make better use of e-books with software
    Would you like to organize your collection or copy your notes? Then you need the right software for this.

Advantages of e-books

Books in electronic form have many advantages over printed books:

  • there are many free e-books available, including many great classics from world literature
  • you can change the font size (you no longer need glasses to read)
  • E-books are mostly cheaper than books (on average they cost around 20% less)
  • you no longer need a large or additional bookshelf and can save a lot of money and space
  • you can buy the e-books from home and don't have to go to the bookstore or wait for the book to arrive in the mail from the internet dealer
  • E-book readers weigh less than 200 g and are lighter than many books
  • e-book readers are easier to transport and hold than thick books, which means that your hands are not so heavy
  • you can store thousands of e-books on an e-book reader and thus carry a great many with you at once
  • Quickly look up translations and meanings of words (helps a lot with foreign-language literature and texts with a lot of foreign words)
  • With a search function built into e-book readers, you can find certain pages much faster (very useful for specialist books)
  • Possibility of interactive use, e.g. B. Videos, audio files, links, puzzles, small games, puzzles and much more

Range of e-books

Amazon offers over 3.7 million e-books. These include more than 350,000 German copies. Amazon also serves as an extensive source for readers of foreign language literature.

E-books can also be offered free of charge. This is especially the case with works in which the author has died for at least seventy years. Then according to § 64 UrhG the copyright for the books expires. Over 49,000 e-books that are no longer copyrighted can be found on the Project Gutenberg website. There are already more than 1,600 German e-books available for download free of charge.

Other websites that offer e-books for download can be found under Shops for e-books.

Formats and copy protection

Do you know what AZW, EPUB, MOBI and DRM are? If not, you should first find out about the e-book formats and copy protection before buying an e-book.

Amazon and Apple have a proprietary copy protection system. Other shops such as eBook.de, Thalia and Weltbild rely on copy protection from Adobe.

Functions of e-book readers

Of course, the options presented above are just the basics. If you want to learn more, check out the e-book reader features overview!