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Books have gone through a rapid transition from placing a mail order using a catalog, to ordering Online, to now having the book being an instant download to your computer for reading on the screen or printed out on your home printer.  One of the hottest topics in the library and book world today is e-books.  Hard cover books and the newer e-books both have a place in our lives.

An e-book is the same as a hard copy book, only you read it on your computer screen, or you can print it, and then just read it as normal hard copy.  Our younger kids like to read inexpensive e-book stories on the computer screen.  We prefer our reading on hard copy printouts.  We make printed copies of all our e-books, and we keep all our e-books on CD too.

In most cases, an e-book quickly downloads to your computer in the popular Adobe Portable Document Format, or PDF.  The Adobe Reader, if not already installed on your computer, is a free download.

Stephen King brought e-books to the attention of the world by distributing his novel, Riding the Bullet, exclusively in e-book form.  In the first 24 hours of availability, 400,000 copies were downloaded - more than any other book in any format!  A quick scan of any of the e-Library sites will leave you in awe.  From old classics like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, to favorites like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, right up to the most recently written novels, romance, how-to, and scientific books.  The list of categories will leave you breathless.

If your eyesight is not what it used to be, here is an area where e-books really shine.  You can quickly change the type size, screen brightness, or e-books can even be used with text-to-speech software.

Some other attractive features come to mind:
-You can buy an e-book without leaving home, from your personal computer.
- Instant download after buying, to read, save on your hard disk, or print.  
- Text can be searched.
- Takes up little space.
- Low cost.
- Does not wear over time.

The average reader might simply want to read books, and the Adobe format mentioned above is quite adequate for most readers using a standard desktop or notebook computer.  For the more advanced e-book reader, there is a myriad of e-book formats, some using dedicated handheld reading devices.  Their features include, portability, replicating page turning, integrating multimedia contents such as video, audio, animation and images, and even more.  For some readers, the advancing reader technology is as exciting as the e-book's contents.

If the e-book evolution has passed you by, now is the time to catch up.  There has never been a better time, with so many free and paid e-books available from so many sources.  If you are a reader, you are only a click away from obtaining that special book you have been looking for. If you are a writer, you are only a click away from producing an e-book.  An exciting e-book experience is in store for you.

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