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Smiths 5 Page Essay Rough Draft

Smiths 5 Page Essay Rough Draft

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Published by quintin522

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Published by: quintin522 on Jan 19, 2010
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01/19/2010

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QuintinBooks vs. EbooksIn our modern age, literature has spread far and wide throughout our culture. People of all ages have the capacity to read, and they use it. Newspapers, fliers, and posters surroundus and their words reach out to us. Libraries are made available to the public, from wherehence they are able to borrow books and read them, all for free. Books are the main source of literature in our world, with thousands of libraries spread over the world filled to the brim withbooks for people to borrow from, and millions of books are bought by citizens every year for their own private collection and browsing. They come in all sizes and forms, from largehardback and encyclopedias, to pocket size and children's books. Cherished and treasured,books are jewels of knowledge that society has come to love and honor. Having been aroundfor so long, it has looked that they would be able to stay that way for a long, long time. Butnow, in the new millennium of human history and development, a contender has entered thering to challenge books for their place in our society. Taking advantage of the advances incomputers and their integration into our society, books have been successfully put in a digitalformat. They are called Ebooks, PDF files that have the entirety of a regular book but on onescomputer for your reading pleasure. Like many of the other new ideas and cultural shifts wehave happening right now, Ebooks have started becoming widely accepted as an alternativeto conventional books. Being in a digital format, able to hold thousands of them on onecomputer, and easily transfer them from on person to the other makes them a very viablealternative to regular books that have none of advantages. But Ebooks are not without faultthemselves. Concerns have raised over the widespread use of them over possible healthrisks from staring at a computer screen for the long periods of time needed to read a bookand over the illegal spreading of the Ebooks from software pirating. So do we throw out the
 
old and say in with the new? Or stay with what we know works? Lets find out a little morebefore we decide.Books are the current form of holding and storing writing to be read at a later time thatwe have. Since the written language was first invented, its been recorded on many mediums.The earliest mediums used were very simple. One of these was a clay tablet. A scribe wouldgorge out the words he was writing in the clay, and after all the writing was done it would befired in an oven, turning it into a form of pottery. Another was to carve the words onto stoneusing a chisel. Later on in Egypt papyrus reeds would be used to create the first form of paper. As it spread, the Greeks turned to using processed animal skin, as papyrus did notgrow well there and could not supply the large demand. In the early 2
nd
century, Chinainvented the first form of modern paper. Using a myriad of sources, such a bast fibers, oldfishnets and rags, sheets of paper were created using fibers from them. From China thesecret of paper making spread out, first to the Middle East around 751 A.D. And from there itspread to Europe. These fiber papers formed the basis for books at that time period. Themaking of books however were still very expensive, as each book's writing had to behandwritten by a scribe. Poor inks and paper could sometimes to lead to very short lifespansfor books. Books were mostly restricted to the more elite classes until the invention of printingpress, which allowed for book pages to be made in vast quantities using a template, makingbooks more widespread and affordable. However it wasn't until the industrial revolution,during which a steam powered printing press was created, that books could be creating inenough supply for even the lower classes. At this point in time, paper was still being madeusing old rags and fibrous materials making books very expensive. Many were consideredlucky to own more than a few. In 1844 however, inventors discovered a way to make paper using pulped wood, and a steam driven paper making machine. Paper became so cheap
 
people could use it for writing diaries or letters. As a result the price of books dropped evenfurther. In the 1900's they became common place and public libraries spread across thecountry. In our new millennium, books are everywhere. Libraries are filled to the brim withthem, stores sell them on the cheap, and peoples private collections, built over a lifetime, canexceed a hundred different books. Every where we look we can find them. So are they all wewill ever need?It's the 21
st
century. Many changes have been made to the world we knew in this newera of spreading knowledge. But the one this paper is focusing on is the modernization of books, turning them into a digital format called Ebooks. Ebooks are usually PDFs (PortableDocument Format) that your computer can display on its screen for you to read. 1993 was theyear that the first ebook and ebook reading software was developed. That first ebook was thenovel, “ On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts”. From that point on the use of ebooksslowly but surely spread. It kicked up at the turn of the millennium, and only grew from there.Some of the big boosts to their spreading and popularity were the creation of online ebookstores, where you could just buy and download a book to read. The other big boost to ebookin recent years was the creation of mobile ebook readers. These readers are about the size of a hardback book and are in the $150-$300 range. They can hold hundreds of ebooks in their memory, making them effectively portable libraries. The most popular ebook reader currentlyis Amazon's Kindle, which costs about $250. There are a couple of methods for making anebook. One is to create it as the author is writing the book, and release it a period of time after the book becomes published. Another method, one that is used mostly on older books thathave already been published, is to scan the contents of the book. This creates image files in adigital format. Then a OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program is used. This program isable to scan the image, recognize the text, and translate it into a text file. Ebooks are

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