I just finished reading this comprehensive and insightful article written by Stephanie Ardito for Searcher Magazine.
A full overview of e-books is presented, from its history dating back to the late 1960\'s to its current and future trends.
Links to e-books products and directories are included in the link to the article.The author makes many relevant points regarding libraries and their relation to e-books.
\"Without doubt, the purchase of electronic books has advantages for the academic and public library communities and their users. A single copy of a work can be loaded onto a server and made accessible to an unlimited number of users, technologically at least, if not contractually. Searching for specific information in large volumes of text can save time and turn texts into reference books. Links, graphics, and sound embedded in texts can provide additional resources of information. Electronic archives can preserve historical print texts in jeopardy of disintegrating. Because there is no physical inventory, electronic books can be printed or downloaded on demand; consequently, a publisher never has to worry about running out of stock.\"
In addition, she relays to the reader the current research that is taking place to make the e-book experience more enjoyable.
\"Displays are improving, but the development of a device that delivers the brightness and resolution of a printed page may be a long time in coming. As far as the feel of paper, Xerox PARC and E-Ink (a spin-off of the MIT Media Lab) are co-developing “digital paper”. IBM, Motorola, Lucent, and other technology companies are attempting to create “thin, flexible sheets that look and feel like paper, yet can hold an electronic charge and display electronic text. E Ink is working on several e-paper prototypes.\"
And her conclusion...
\"E-publishers have a long way to go before they completely satisfy print book lovers and prove Captain Picard wrong. We need sufficient content to make the industry appealing. Pricing has to be attractive. Portability and comfort are necessary (including screens that emulate the feel of books, not to mention the wonderful pleasure of hearing pages turn). And most important, we must be reassured that our privacy will not be invaded.\"