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Ebooks: Fad or Future?



Ebooks: Fad or Future?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.19

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    e-book, E-books, ebook, HTML, downloaded, following, barnes, page-turning, trend, reading, better, photography, cons, compatible, text, bookstore
     content words:    HyperText Markup Language, Portable Document Format, Peanut Markup Language, Extensible Markup Language, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Palm Pilot, Stephen King, Arguments Against Ebooks


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Ebooks: Fad or Future?
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Until the 1990s, if you wanted to have a good time reading a book, your best choice was to curl up next to a roaring fire with a cup of cocoa and your choice of a dog or a cat. OK, maybe that doesn't sound too exciting, but up until recently, that was your only option. Now you can curl up in a comfortable office chair and read ebooks next to a roaring Xerox machine!
 
2     Ebooks are the latest way to publish anything, and the term "e-book" simply means "electronic book." An ebook is a type of computer file, but it is more complex than a document in a word processing program. It is downloaded from the Internet into your computer so you can read it on the screen of an electronic device. An ebook has pages, illustrations, and chapters like a real book. All kinds of books can be made into ebooks, from reference manuals to children's books.
 
3     Ebooks come in four different formats, which are referred to by their acronyms. For those of you who enjoy long, complicated names, here they are. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and this format can be read on most computers. PDF means Portable Document Format, and it looks a lot like printed pages on your computer screen. Handheld devices use PML, which stands for Peanut Markup Language. XML means Extensible Markup Language, and it is used with Windows operating systems.

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