August 15, 2005
Expert: Read between the lines when learning how to use e-books
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Universities, libraries and schools are asking more people to use electronic books, and a Purdue University English expert offers a few tips to help users get a read on this technology.
"Even though more people are using electronic books for school and pleasure, understanding this new technology can be a struggle," says David Blakesley, associate professor of English and director of Purdue's professional writing program.
Electronic books, known as e-books, are growing in popularity on college campuses, in school districts and at public libraries because they cost less up to 40 percent to 60 percent less than print books. Blakesley, who is founder and publisher of Parlor Press LLC, says e-books are cheaper to produce, store and distribute.
"E-books are not only becoming popular because of their affordability, but they also are a great resource," says Blakesley, who assigns e-books in his professional writing courses. "I often hear people, including my students, say they just can't get past holding a book, but using an e-book is like reading e-mail or visiting a Web site, but better. This digital format offers so many advantages."
For example, e-books offer electronic search functions, highlighting options, the ability to write in margins, collect notes and even virtually turn the corner of a page to mark it. Some software also allows the reader to play video or sound in the book or link to relevant Web sites elsewhere.
Blakesley recommends the following tips to novice e-book readers:
"E-books are here to stay," Blakesley says. "They are easy to update, and that is critical in fields such as computer science, engineering, government relations and medicine where information is changing rapidly."
Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: David Blakesley, (765) 494-3772, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
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