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  • Derya Dinç

Ebooks: A Journey Through Time, Good and Bad

In the world of books and technology, ebooks are a big deal, just after fancy new printing. Even though big tech companies, not traditional book publishers, started ebooks, they might become more popular than regular printed books someday.



Where Ebooks Began

A Surprise Start Ebooks have been around longer than most people think. The very first ebook happened in 1971 with something called Project Gutenberg, made by a guy named Michael Hart. Back then, the goal was to make an electronic library with 10,000 books. The first book Michael chose was the US Declaration of Independence. He wanted to help many people learn. So, all the books in Project Gutenberg were in simple text to make them easy to read.


Ebooks Turn into Business

In 1993, a company named BiblioBytes started selling ebooks online, making them a business. A publisher called Fiction Works, started by Roy Hoy in 1994, was one of the first to really make ebooks. In 1998, a device called Rocket was made by NuvoMedia, and it was the first gadget made for reading ebooks. It could download ebooks from a computer. Around the same time, a different device called SoftBook Reader came out. It could hold a lot of pages and even show pictures.


Publishers and Ebooks Join Forces

A big publisher, Simon & Schuster, started to work with ebooks too. They made a new brand called iBooks for this. Thanks to them, Simon & Schuster was the first company to release books in electronic and paper forms. In 2000, Glassbook, a free program for reading ebooks on computers, became popular. Stephen King's book "Bag of Bones" was released on it and sold half a million copies in just 48 hours.


In the same year, big companies like Microsoft and Amazon started to make ebooks and sell them together. People could use new software from Microsoft to download ebooks onto their computers.


More publishers began to make ebooks in 2001, like Random House, HarperCollins, Time Warner Books, and Penguin. WHSmith, a bookstore in the UK, made a special area for ebooks. Sony made its own ebook reader in 2004.


Big Changes and Ebook Success

Things really changed in 2007 when Apple launched the iPhone and Amazon made the first Kindle ebook reader. Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook in 2009. The year 2010 was a big deal. Apple made the iPad, iBooks, and the iBookstore, and they sold lots of ebooks in just a short time. Google also made the eBookstore in 2010. Amazon said that more people were buying ebooks than regular books that year. By 2013, ebooks made up 20% of all book sales in the US.


The Good Things About Ebooks

Ebooks bring lots of good things because they're digital. They let more writers share their stories at lower costs. Special tools like print-on-demand help authors and publishers take less risk. Ebook readers make it easy to carry many books when traveling. Ebooks are better for the environment because they use fewer materials. They can also be cheaper since they don't need printing. There are even free ebooks through Project Gutenberg. As more young people who love technology grow up, ebooks could become even more popular. Ebooks can also have fun things like videos and games, especially in books for kids.


Not-So-Good Things About Ebooks

Ebooks have some downsides too. Authors might not earn as much money from ebooks as they do from printed books. Libraries have a hard time with ebooks because they can't share them like regular books. Your privacy might not be as safe with ebooks, as companies can know what you're reading. Some people just like the feel of real books better. Also, ebook prices went up in 2016, so more printed books started to sell again.


Ebooks: A Bright Future Ahead

Ebooks have a promising future with new technology and the younger generation. Big companies like Amazon and Apple are working to stay important in the ebook world. As things keep changing, ebooks could become even more popular, thanks to cool technology and people who love reading.


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