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July 6, 2016

5 Facts About E-Books That Would Impress Your Friends

by Cassie 

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While I’ll be the first to admit your friends are probably easily impressed if they find facts about e-books impressive, there are some very cool things about them that they may not be aware of. Most people using e-books think of them as something you buy, read and forget about. That might be okay for some people, but I've always thought it's best to get your money's worth.

Although e-books are not an exact replacement for real books, they are getting closer and closer. Changes to software that reads e-book data are poised to make your life more convenient and accessible when it comes to reading. Let's see exactly what those e-books can do!

1. E-Books Can Be Rented

As someone that owns a fair number of overpriced books, I've come to learn that not all books need to be purchased. In fact, many expensive e-books now offer the option to rent them for a considerably lower price. This is great news, particularly for students tasked with purchasing the "current edition" of a several hundred dollar textbooks for their classes.

For others, it means saving money on books you don't intend to read a second time. It's not so different from the library, except that the book you want is always in stock, though for a small fee. Certainly, it's not for every situation though. But it can be handy because…

2. Not all E-Books are Cheap

Despite having no printing costs associated, some e-books are just as expensive as their physical counterparts. Prices for most e-books range between $1-$10, but in some cases, there are e-books that still cost as much as fifty bucks. While many books can be found cheaper in their e-book format, the exception to that case is used books.

Not surprisingly, used books are sometimes dirt cheap, costing just a few dollars, sometimes even under a dollar. This is especially true for books that have multiple editions (and the older the edition, the cheaper a used version will be). So be careful what you buy in e-book format. It’s not necessarily always a money saver.

3. E-Books are Tied to Your Account, Not Your Device

Your favorite book can get wet; it can get stinky, moldy, ripped apart and become so damaged that no clean soul would ever want to touch it without the help of gloves. Libraries are filled with these old, rotting books, especially archives. But that's something that won't happen to your e-books. It's not just because they're in digital format either.

When you purchase an e-book, you get access to that book on the account you bought it on. So if you switch to a new device, want to read it on a bigger screen or decide you need to go mobile, that’s fine! You can always bring up your e-book on a difference device so long as that device has that same account on it.

Sadly there are a couple of downsides. Loaning books out doesn't work so well when they're e-books. You don't want to share account details, so as a result you can't really "loan" e-books to anyone.

Additionally, accessing your e-book account requires internet access, account logins and downloads. While it might not seem like a big deal, all of those things put your devices and accounts at risk. You’d hate to spend a small fortune building your digital library only to have that account hacked or stolen.

If you’re going to be reading e-books, especially via public WiFi, it would be a good idea to subscribe to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Public WiFi is rife with hackers and other perils, but they can be avoided with a VPN, which encrypts your internet traffic. Check out this review from Secure Thoughts to choose the best option to protect your self.

4. You Can Write in Most E-Books

When e-books first got started, my main criticism (aside from no "new book smell") was that you couldn't remember a precise page you'd folded or marked. You couldn't put notes on the margins, highlight lines you wanted to remember or do a lot of things that we do in physical books.
That is no longer the case. Changes to software now allow us to do just about all of those things, only considerably better than a real book. Not only can you create bookmarks and write in e-books, but you can also use “find” to search for specific text. You can use handwritten notes, or you can leave typed (clean) notes in the margin without jumbling up the page with markings.

That combined with being able to remove notes you make is pretty significant. One thing's for sure about real books: you can't erase pen or marker. But you sure can delete anything you'd like from your e-book.

5. There’s a “Netflix” for E-Books

Sure, you probably think this one was bound to happen. If you can stream movies for one low monthly price, why not books as well? Given that you can rent individual books, it's only natural that someone would develop an online subscription service that allows you to read as many books as you want!

Don’t get too excited now; there are a few limitations that come along with these subscription services. Much like Netflix, the “library” is limited by licenses the company has acquired and maintains. Your favorite book might not be in one service, while it may be available on another subscription service. There’s no guarantee that book will stay licensed with that provider either.

Fortunately, the services are pretty cheap. Most of them run around $10 per month, and if you're reading a lot of books already, that's a pretty good deal. As subscription services continue to grow, this is likely a market that will expand with time as well. Maybe it won't have the same glamor as Netflix, but it'll have huge appeal for the bookworms of the world.

Think we missed something great about e-books? We’d love to know what you think on the topic. Please share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author:
Cassie is an avid reader and all around book lover. She enjoys writing about internet security and entertainment, as well as sharing guest posts across the net.

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