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If you've tried reading an electronic book, you'll know that electronic ink and paper is much easier to read from for long periods than an LCD computer screen. Since the microcapsules stay in position indefinitely, with little or no electric current, electronic ink displays have extremely low power consumption.
A typical ebook reader with an E Ink display can be used for something like 2—4 weeks of average everyday reading on a single charge—which is much less power than a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Low power consumption means low energy use and that translates into an environmental benefit ; in other words, electronic ink and paper is environmentally friendly.
What about the energy needed to manufacture your reader in the first place? According to British environmental auditor Nicola Terry , who's done the math, you've only to read 20—70 ebooks to offset that energy; the Cleantech group has estimated that a Kindle makes savings in carbon emissions after just one year's use. That sounds great, but do bear in mind that emissions from reading and producing books are a trivial part of most people's total emissions the majority of which stem from transport, consumed goods, home heating, and so on.
The disadvantages are less obvious until you start using electronic ink in earnest. First, although the displays work excellently in bright indoor light and daylight, including direct sunlight, they have no light of their own unlike LCD displays, which have backlights shining through them from back to front so you can see them.
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That makes them hard to use in poor indoor light, especially in the evenings, which is why many early ebook readers were sold with clumsy addon lamps. Fortunately, firms like site now offer readers with built-in lights like the Kindle Paperwhite in our top photo , so the problem of straining over ebooks in the dark has now largely disappeared. Night and day, are you the one?
Here I've propped a Sony Reader against the screen of a conventional laptop and photographed it in different light conditions. In bright light or daytime outdoors, electronic ink displays are much easier to read than backlit LCD displays, which become virtually invisible. In dark indoor light in the evenings, things are reversed: LCDs are much easier to read and electronic ink displays are a struggle to decipher unless you sit in strong light or use a clip-on light attachment.
Electronic ink also takes much longer to build up the image of a page than an LCD screen, which means it's unsuitable for everyday computer displays using any kind of moving image and completely unsuitable for fast-moving images such as computer games and videos. Sometimes parts of a previous page linger on as "ghosts" until you've turned another page or two.
You've probably noticed that, when you "turn the page" of an electronic book, the entire screen momentarily flashes black before the new page is displayed? Another major disadvantage is that most electronic ink displays are currently black and white. Crude color displays do exist E Ink has produced one called Triton since , in which a layer of red, green, and blue color filters is mounted over the usual black-and-white microcapsules and better ones are in development, but they're much more expensive than their black-and-white electronic paper or LCD equivalents and only display a relatively small number of colors Triton can manage , compared to about 17 million on a decent LCD.
In time, we're bound to have color electronic books and magazines, but don't hold your breath. site's Jeff Bezos, speaking in mid, said that a color Kindle ebook reader was "multiple years" away: Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, Elonex—which one should you download?
The decision is a little easier than it used to be now Sony has regrettably stopped making ebook readers, though I'd still recommend looking out for cheap secondhand Sonys on auction sites.
They're all broadly similar: Some have touchscreens ; others like the older and cheaper Kindles have miniature keyboards. Some have wireless connections for downloading more books; others such as the Sony Readers have to be connected to a computer with a USB cable. When you plug in your reader, it "syncs" synchronizes its internal memory with the library on your PC, adding any new books and deleting any unwanted ones.
If you have a wireless reader, you maintain your library on the reader itself or in the cloud stored on a remote computer somewhere and accessed online , adding and removing books directly.
It's not a big issue, I don't think, though elderly people who have little experience of using a computer may find downloading books easier with something like a wireless Kindle with its built-in, easy-to-use bookstore. Horses for courses: Portable versions of the Sony Reader have a much smaller page size than a typical hardbook book. That's great if you want to carry your reader in your jacket pocket or your handbag so you can read while you're travelling.
It's much less attractive if you do most of your reading at home: This is one example of why it pays to think about how you're going to use an ebook reader before you download it. The best and most expensive readers use extremely high-resolution E Ink screens that work better in daylight than at night you'll need good indoor lighting or a clip-on light if you're planning to do most of your e-reading in the evenings ; LCD-screen readers such as the Elonex have backlit screens that favor indoor use and like computer screens can be tricky to read in bright sunlight.
site's current state-of-the-art reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, has discreet little LED lights built around the edge of the screen that make a noticeable difference when you're reading indoors in the dim evening light. E Ink apparently uses energy only when you turn the pages, so the Sony Reader can happily survive for about two weeks of very heavy use on a single charge of the batteries, while the Kindle Paperwhite claims up to eight weeks of battery time.
That means it's also very environmentally friendly to read books or documents from a handheld ebook reader compared to reading them on a computer screen. Some ebook readers can cope with ebooks in all kinds of different formats.
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The PDF viewer is really neat, allowing you to rotate the screen or scroll documents column-by-column for easy reading. You can also mail documents to your Kindle, which is something you can't do on a Sony.
You can use the Sony Reader in "landscape" orientation if you find that easier, though you have to switch it over manually from the keyboard unlike with a smartphone, the display doesn't rotate itself. If environmental issues matter to you, reading documents on an ebook reader like this might appeal, because it uses a fraction as much energy as a laptop. The text is much more legible than it appears in this photograph.
Most books currently produced by publishers are copyrighted, which means you can and should expect to pay a fair price if you want to use them.
A decade ago, when I first wrote this article, relatively few publishers had embraced ebooks. Today, most publishers make most new books available in at least one electronic format, and many sell direct to readers from their own websites, but they're taking their time making backlist and out-of-print titles available this way.
Generally, it's relatively easy to find new mass-market bestsellers in ebook format but harder to find more specialized books and quality, literary fiction. Public domain classics are the easiest books to find in ebook format, largely thanks to the sterling and visionary work of Project Gutenberg and, more recently, the Open Library , which currently promises over a million free ebook titles.
If you enjoy reading classic novels, downloading an ebook reader is probably a no-brainer; if you're more a fan of modern literary fiction, you might have a harder time finding what you want in digital form.
Unfortunately, the standard of production for ebooks is noticeably lower and sloppier than it is for print books: It's quite obvious that publishers don't apply the same high editorial and proofreading standards to printed books and ebooks. Take a moment to send complaints direct to a publisher whenever you find a really sloppy ebook, copy the author in if you can find contact details for them—and be sure to ask for a refund.
If you download copyright ebooks from either site or another outlet, you'll find they're protected by what's called DRM digital rights management —effectively a kind of encryption that prevents people from distributing pirate copies of books illegally.
DRM protection restricts what you can do with books you've bought, but it's not necessarily the drawback it seems. First, it's very much a necessity from a publisher's point of view: I'm delighted to find I can log in to my local library and download, for free, for periods of up to 14 days, a fair selection of a few hundred popular ebooks.
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How does electronic ink and paper work? Advantages and disadvantages of electronic ink If you've tried reading an electronic book, you'll know that electronic ink and paper is much easier to read from for long periods than an LCD computer screen.
Which electronic book reader should I download?
Displays and batteries The best and most expensive readers use extremely high-resolution E Ink screens that work better in daylight than at night you'll need good indoor lighting or a clip-on light if you're planning to do most of your e-reading in the evenings ; LCD-screen readers such as the Elonex have backlit screens that favor indoor use and like computer screens can be tricky to read in bright sunlight. Finding ebooks Most books currently produced by publishers are copyrighted, which means you can and should expect to pay a fair price if you want to use them.
Who invented electronic books?
Ancient Egyptians make the first paper from the stem of the papyrus plant. Chinaman Ts'ai Lun develops modern paper from hemp fiber. German Johannes Gutenberg invents the modern process of printing with movable metal type, which leads to a vast increase in the popularity of books.
Computer scientist Alan Kay imagines a portable computerized book, which he nicknames the Dynabook. It is a commercial flop. Late s: Several new handheld, electronic book readers are launched, including the SoftBook, RocketBook, and Everybook—but fail to make much impact on the marketplace. Best-selling horror author Stephen King launches a short novel called Riding the Bullet in electronic format and sells over half a million copies.
Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales give the world Wikipedia—an electronic encyclopedia anyone can contribute to. site Kindle becomes site's number one bestselling product, confirming that electronic books and readers really have arrived!
E Ink announces Triton, a colored version of its ebook screen technology. Project Gutenberg celebrates 40 years of producing and distributing electronic books. A report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers predicts ebooks will outsell printed books by , but UK bookstore founder Tim Waterstone argues the market will go into decline. Sony stops selling its Readers after growing sales of smartphones and tablets cause a major fall in sales.
The Association of American Publishers reports a dramatic reversal of fortune, with a 10 percent fall in sales of ebooks which still account for only a fifth of the market. Walmart announces it will challenge site's dominance of the ebook market in a bold partnership with Japanese firm Rakuten.
Sponsored links. Around one in six ebooks are pirated, according to Britain's Society of Authors. Publishers have failed to exploit the unique properties of digital information, argues the head of Hachette Livre.
The Plot Twist: The New York Times. September 22, Why has there been a dramatic decline in ebook sales and a resurgence in printed books?
A look at the various technical terms used to describe different kinds of ebooks and related technologies. E-books to outsell print by says new report: Thus, you can transmit all knowledge to your audience more effectively and clearly, and convey your ideas more confidently and confidently. After downloading the file, downloaders will no longer need to use the internet to view the content. Production is simpler, just use a text editing tool such as Word and Google Docs, and devote time to writing.
It takes up less storage space on reading devices. This type of product is accessible for the hearing impaired. You must make sure that the entire text is correct according to English grammar norms or the language that will be used to guarantee the reliability and seriousness of the content.
It is important that it be written in a fluid and dynamic manner to prevent the text from being monotonous and uninteresting. Therefore, images and other additions are very important to increment an eBook. Using examples also gives the reader a mental picture and a better understanding of the subject matter. Dividing your text into topics or subtopics also helps organize the text and facilitates understanding. Points of attention Written texts can be easily used or even plagiarized by others without proper referencing.
So be sure to comply with copyright regulations to have your rights protected by the legislation in your country. Products in this format may not attract certain audiences who resist reading or have difficulty with text interpretation. In this case, you must identify your persona carefully before developing your material.
Written content is often considered to be simpler than audiovisual content, so people might be willing to pay less for it. Video lessons Online courses in video lesson format, as the name says, are courses made up of videos through which the content will be transmitted and taught.
These videos can be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or even streamed from your online course platform , for example.
Advantages Audiovisual resources, which require greater production and development, value the product in a way that downloaders might be willing to pay more for them. By using your image and talking directly to your students, you can establish a closer relationship with them, conveying trust and accessibility.
Video content is absorbed in an easier and more accessible manner. Through images and demonstrations, products that teach procedures or techniques can be better understood by students. Possibility of using other complementary resources, such as screencast, soundtracks and effects that make the class more inviting and didactic. Best forms of use Videos should display clear images with good resolution.Take a moment to send complaints direct to a publisher whenever you find a really sloppy ebook, copy the author in if you can find contact details for them—and be sure to ask for a refund.
But if you want to learn about landing pages and sales have a look at this post. The 13th Configuration. The Geometry of Care. Sean Conroy. You can then take some time to look at your competitors on Google and see what posts are most popular for them. A thoughtful technology writer sees different strengths and weaknesses in paper and electronic displays and sees both technologies surviving side-by-side for some time yet.
Especially if you could create it around one specific niche. Allison S.
Thus, you can transmit all knowledge to your audience more effectively and clearly, and convey your ideas more confidently and confidently.
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