Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ebooks for Science & Technology Students

How to find and use e-books

What is an E-book?

EBookAn 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!: 25 votes (47.17%)
I prefer print, thank you very much: 3 votes (5.66%)
I like both: 25 votes (47.17%)
Total Votes: 53