E-book is short for electronic book. An e-book is the digital equivalent of a conventional printed book. E-books can be read on personal computers or on e-book readers.
On of the advantages of e-books is that text can be searched automatically, and cross-referenced using hyperlinks. Links can also be provided to websites or other sources of information. In addition, less physical space is required to store them. Hundreds (or thousands) may be carried together on one device.
Readers who have difficulty reading print can adjust the text size and font face. Some devices allow reading in low light or even total darkness through the use of back-lighting. Errors can also be easily and quickly corrected in an e-text for future versions.
Although they require electricity to be read, the production of e-books does not consume the paper, ink, and other resources that are used to produce print books, so they are environmentally friendly.
E-books are also available immediately for download, so the reader does not have to wait for delivery or make a trip to a bookstore.
Possible disadvantages are that e-books do require electronic devices to be read. Since they are dependent on electronic equipment, they can be affected by faults in external hardware or software, such as hard disk failure.
In addition, digital management techniques may be used to restrict what the user may do with an e-book. For instance, it may not be possible to transfer ownership to another person, though such a transaction is common with physical books.