E-books

An introduction to e-books at the EMU library.

What are E-books?

What is an e-book?

An e-book is a digital book; it may be an electronic version of a printed book. An e-book can be read on a computer or other devices such as e-book readers or mobile phones.

E-book readers

E-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Apple iPad have become very popular for personal reading. E-book readers have many advantages. They can store thousands of books and books are available for purchase at any time and from any location.

But there are also disadvantages. For example, most e-book readers can only read particular formats. Often times, books purchased for use with an e-book reader cannot be copied, loaned, or resold. Additionally, some e-book readers do not comply with ADA accessibility regulations, rendering their content useless to those users with print disabilities. If interested, a comprehensive review of e-book readers is available from CNET.

E-book formats

E-books come in many formats.  Some of these formats are proprietary and can only be used with particular devices.    For example, books in the Kindle  (.azw) format can be read on the Kindle as well as most Android and Apple devices, but not on the Nook or Reader.  Similarly, the ePub format, an open standard for e-books, is not supported by the Kindle.

Library e-books

The EMU library has over 50,000 e-books available on many topics and from various publishers. All of the library’s e-books are listed in the library catalog and will appear on the results screen with an “internet” location.

Many of the library’s e-books can only be read on computers and can't be downloaded to an e-reader or mobile device.  Others are in formats, such as .pdf, that allow them to be downloaded. There are other restrictions on the use of some library e-books, including limiting use to one reader at a time and limitations on printing.   Learn more about using library e-books.

Introduction to e-books

Future of the Book

What might e-books be like in the future?