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Definition: e–book from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

(1988) : a book composed in or converted to digital format for display on a computer screen or handheld device

Summary Article: electronic book
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

In computing, software with or without specialized hardware that provides the equivalent of a book's worth of information. The term applies to simple text files created by scanning printed books or manuals such as those created and archived by Project Gutenberg, as well as popular book titles previously only published in print.

In 1998, US company NuvoMedia launched a handheld reader for electronic books, which could store about ten novels. This was followed by a similar device from SoftBook Press. To avoid a standards war, these companies, many leading publishers, Microsoft, Adobe, and others formed a working party to develop an Open eBook standard, which was superseded by the EPUB standard in 2007.

Microsoft's Reader and Adobe's Acrobat e-Book Reader were developed in the 1990s for personal computers, and during the 2000s dedicated hardware to simulate the experience of reading printed materials was developed. Sony's Reader, launched in 2006, and Amazon's Kindle, launched in 2007, are electronic devices about the size of a paperback book and with a high-contrast screen, dedicated to displaying electronic books, newspapers, magazines, and other media. Tablet PCs such as Apple's iPad range, also allow readers to buy books online and read on-screen. In 2010, Amazon reported that sales of e-Books had outsold traditional printed books.


Classics for Young People

Forster's A Room with a View

Forster's Howard's End

Melville's Moby Dick: electronic edition

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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