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Submitted By jetrow
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An electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices.[1] Although sometimes defined as "an electronic version of a printed book",[2] many e-books exist without any printed equivalent. Commercially produced and sold e-books are usually intended to be read on dedicated e-book readers, however, almost any sophisticated electronic device that features a controllable viewing screen, including computers, many mobile phones, and nearly all smartphones, can also be used to read e-books.

The inventor of the first e-book is not widely agreed upon. Some notable candidates include the following:
The first e-book may be the Index Thomisticus, a heavily annotated electronic index to the works of Thomas Aquinas, prepared by Roberto Busa beginning in the late 1940s. However, this is sometimes omitted, perhaps because the digitized text was (at least initially) a means to developing an index and concordance, rather than as a published edition in its own right.[3]
Some years earlier the idea of the e-reader came to Bob Brown after watching his first "talkie" (movies with sound). In 1930, he wrote an entire book on this invention and titled it "The Readies" playing off the idea of the "talkie".[4] In his book, Brown says that movies have out maneuvered the book by creating the "talkies" and as a result reading should find a new medium: A machine that will allow us to keep up with the vast volume of print available today and be optically pleasing (this was a big point for Brown).
Though Brown may have come up with the idea intellectually in the 1930s, early commercial e-readers did not follow his model. Nevertheless, Brown in many ways predicted what e-readers would become and what they would...

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