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Ebooks for Science & Technology Students: Introduction

How to find and use e-books

What is an E-book?

An e-book is an electronic book that you can read on your pc, laptop, mobile phone or e-reader device.

E-books can be electronic versions of a print book or they may not have any printed equivalent. They come in a variety of formats, all of which can be read online, but some also allow you to download and/or print either the entire book or sections.

Engineering and Technology E-books at NYU

Use this guide to learn how to find, read, and cite e-books using Bobst Library Online Reources and a curated collection of free e-books.

E-book Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Portability  – Most e-book devices can hold literally hundreds or even thousands of e-books in their memory. That's a lot less weight to lug around in your backpack.
  • Instant gratification – Ever wait until the wee hours of the evening to look up that book you need for your research paper? A nice thing about e-books is that you have access to them 24/7 so you can get the book even when the library is closed.
  • Search Capability – Entering your keywords in a search box is way quicker than flipping through pages of print.
  • Savings – When a hardcover paper book and an e-book of it come out at the same time, the e-book version is usually priced lower. It also tends to be less expensive for a library to store and maintain an e-book collection.

Cons:

  • Requires Special Equipment – All you need to read a print book is the book and some light. Not so with e-books. Whether you use an e-book reader, computer or mobile device–you need some sort of electronic equipment to read an e-book. These devices can be costly and they all require power to function.
  • Format Compatibility – Publishers use a variety of different formats for e-books. Some are available as PDFs, others as HTML, and there are those that are compatible with a particular type of device (iPad, Kindle, etc). Some formats have clunky navigation or may not be comtible with your device.
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) – Sometimes e-books may not be downloaded or only a small portion may be printed.  
  • Doesn't Smell Like a Book – Some book-lovers simply prefer the look, feel, weight, and yes, smell—of a paper book.

How do you feel about e-books?

How do you feel about e-books?
I love e-books!: 18 votes (52.94%)
I prefer print, thank you very much: 3 votes (8.82%)
I like both: 13 votes (38.24%)
Total Votes: 34