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E-books, or electronic books, were initially considered to be the death of the paper book. However, they have instead slipped into the book market alongside traditional books. E-books are both the device upon which a book is read and the book itself; both the hardware and the software. The device is usually the size of a small tablet computer, lightweight, and easy to carry. Most e-books are pre-programmed with the basic controls needed to find, pay for and read the available text, while some of the higher end models offer other features such as an internet browser, music and video player and a camera.

Are There Different Types of E-books?

The most common type of e-book is the Kindle, a device from retail giant Amazon. Kindle e-books form a large part of Amazon's digital retail market, even more so since they have released the free Kindle app which allows any device (tablet or smartphone) to become an e-book. There are also e-books for iPad and iPhone. Being able to buy e-books without needing to splurge on a specific reading device has meant that more people can take advantage of Amazon's e-book range without a large outlay of funds first. Other companies offer e-book devices, sometimes called e-readers, that are compatible with most e-books on the market. The most basic models are not backlit, which means that the e-book must be read in a well-lit room. These basic models also have limited search and download capacity, as well as only featuring controls to page through the book and search, highlight and bookmark within the e-book. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end e-readers are more like full tablets with full internet browsing capability, video and other media players as well as have the ability to download and use apps. Additionally, these high-end e-readers boast a very good e-book feature and internal lighting so they can be used even in dark conditions.

Who can use E-Books?

Almost anyone can use an e-book, but they are particularly handy for travellers who can now take as many books on holiday as they like, instead of having to choose only one lightweight book by way of seaside reading material. They are also excellent tools for students, being able to carry almost an entire library's worth of books without the student needing a reinforced backpack first! E-books are handy as they usually feature a search engine that can help the reader to find a particular passage quickly and almost effortlessly. Bookmark and highlight features enable readers to emphasise sections that they want to remember or return to often, whereas traditional paper books need physical markers which can fall out and get lost or misplaced!

It is possible to find e-books in over one hundred languages, meaning that nearly every country in the world can find e-books to be used in their preferred language. For example, for African e-books, South Africa could provide Afrikaans e-books, Tswana e-books or English e-books. E-book textbooks can easily be produced in any language, making it relatively easy and economical for even small, struggling schools to access syllabus-appropriate texts. Delightfully, there are even UNISA e-books available online for students taking their university degree long-distance!

Where Do You Buy E-books?

Find e-books online and buy them instantly from takealot.com, downloading them to your device of choice. Whether it be a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop or even desktop computer, e-books can be downloaded to your favourite device with no need to pay delivery fees!

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