Electronic Book

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Electronic Book

Electronic book

The world’s first automated reader, the precursor to today’s e-readers, was invented by a woman named Angela Ruiz Robles. Angela had her innovative idea in Spain in 1949. Angela Ruis Robles was a school teacher, who watched her students lug text books back and forth from school every day. The idea was that her reader would be far easier to carry for school children, than a number of different text books.In Angela’s first design, smaller amount of text where printed onto spools and were operated by compressed air. She made her first prototype in 1949. While this book was not electronic it is still hailed as the first automated reader. Her project was never picked up for mass production and she was never able to get a viable patent on the design, but there is a photograph of her holding it in 1949 so she can still claim it.

A Electronic Book or E Book as they are universally known, is a text based publication in digital form. While they may contain images and graphs of some kind, mostly their formats lead them to be text based.E books are designed to be read off an electronically compatible device either an IReader, a Kindle EReader, tablet or personal computer. While E Books are the actual text and document being read, an E Reader is the device that makes this possible. E books are stored as electronic files, they are small and easy to share and purchase.They are convenient, light and have a huge storage capacity, that allows for incredible travel reading, electronic notes, and character summaries. However, they were not always like this.

The invention of the internet was the next huge step forward in E books. Information sharing, and file sharing was the birth place of Electronic books.In 1971, Michael Hart, a student at the University of Illinois, was given unlimited computer time on a huge Xerox mainframe computer in the Materials Research lab (probably because his brother’s best friend was one of its operators). What might seem like an incredibly boring time in Internet history, as there were not many people on the internet in 1971, Michael Hart turned into an incredible opportunity.The machine was used primarily for data processing, but it was also connected to ARPAnet, a part of what would later become the internet. The value of this gift, given the huge expense of buying and running such machines, he later calculated to be around $100,000,000.When Hart was given a copy of the Declaration of Independence at a grocery store in the lead up to the local fireworks on July 4th, he found his inspiration. Hart came up with a good use of the computer time he had been given. He typed the text into a computer, all in capitals as there was no lower-case option at the time, and sent out a message on ARPAnet saying that it was now available to download. Six people took him up on the offer and downloaded the text. The world’s first e-book was born.Hart then set about typing up more texts to make them electronically available. His entries included The Bill of Rights, the American Constitution and the Christian Bible. What he created was far more than an electronic text document, what he created was an idea. The idea of not just using computers to crunch numbers and deal with data, but to get computers sharing text and literature.

Pages do not exists in E Books, and the orientation of the reader within the text can be altered depending on adjustments made to the font size and layout. Therefore, the location of the reader throughout the text is displayed as a percentage of the whole text.The rise of e-readers has prompted speculation about the ways the mind processes words on a screen compared to words in paper books–the concern that holding a physical book promotes understanding in a way that staring at a screen does not. The physicality of the book, sparks the reader to see the text not only for it’s content but as an object as well.

A recent study by Sara Margolin suggests that e-readers do not hinder reading comprehension, at least in short passages of text. As research like this gains ground, the use of e-readers will only increase, and with it, new ways of conceiving of and talking about reading will surface in the language, and in turn, enter dictionaries.Yet we still use the term book mark to hold the place where we are up to.


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