The Difference Between Digital Books and Ebooks

Most people today, don’t know the difference between a digital book and an ebook. In fact, many people think they are one and the same. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are entirely different species of the same animal.

Digital books

Digital books, sometimes also called electronic books or PDF books, are scanned, digital facsimiles of standard printed, published books. You can think of them as enhanced copies of the actual hard or paperback books we have come to know and love.

When we are talking about the digital version of newer publications, they are pretty much identical to the original. When talking about old or even ancient publication, they are much better than any original you would find on the shelf of your local library. Since they are facsimiles of the original printing, this really increases quality and helps overcome the problems of many older books, such as yellowed pages, stains, see-through or onion skin type paper, colored paper, brown inks, etc. These are scanned pages, not ‘copied’ pages, and the quality of print truly represents a better quality than the print of the original book.

The great majority of digital books come in PDF format, though Amazon offers a Kindle edition, Mobipocket offers the MOBI version, then there is the plain TEXT format, as well as many others.

Digital books are usually far less expensive than their hard or paperback counterparts, and there are hardly ever shipping costs, unless they are delivered on a CD (Compact Disk).


Ebooks are digital books too, but they were designed and written for the internet. Many, if not most ebooks were never officially “published” at all, unless you count posting something on the internet as publishing.

Most ebooks were meant to be written quickly, with little or no expenses except for possibly distribution. The majority are short, almost always less than 100 pages, usually under 50 pages. Some ebooks are literally slapped together in a matter of hours. Often they are little more than several short reports combined together.

Many ebooks are self-help books, or manuals of some kind, though there are some eBook works of history and fiction to be found if you look for them. More often than not, they have little or no literary value, their intentions being the distribution of facts, instructions and/or ideas.

Sometimes you may come across the eBook version of a hard or soft cover book. It will even be called the “ebook version” of whatever book. But if you look closer, you will find that this eBook version is almost always far fewer pages than the original. You may as well call the “ebook version” the “condensed version” of the book.

Though you will find many ebooks in PDF format, much like digital books, but many come as various generic interactive applications. But don’t let the initial attraction of interaction fool you. Even if this sounds like high tech education at first, you will find that there is not much to the promise of interaction. It just disguises the fact that these books are short, technically no more than a few pages, with little to no real practical, and even less academic value.

Last but not least, ebooks are often free or cheap, though you will occasionally find some specialty instruction “programs” costing hundred of dollars.


Technically, ebooks are digital books, though practically there is a big difference. Personally, I usually prefer a digital book to its eBook cousin.

By Thomas A. Retterbush

Discover Which Digital Books Reader is a Wireless Portable Reading Device

In this article, you’re going to discover which of the current crop of digital books reader devices are actually a wireless portable reading device.

The book reader market is moving forward at an increasingly furious pace, leaving behind the bad press and negative customer comments of the early days. This momentum is driven by the technological advances being made by the manufacturers, displays that are more paper like and larger, faster page turn with no lag or flicker, improved battery life for longer between charge reading, increased storage capacity so you can store your complete library on one small device, all these improvements go to diminish the memory of those early years.

As a consumer, you are probably wondering, what with the recent flurry of new book readers hitting the shelves, what is the difference between all these models?

Well one has to be price… Sony recently released their Pocket Edition prs300 and in the US are selling it for under 200 USD and a good buy it is too. Cool-er, a funky i-pod-esq reader, is also around that mark which makes that a decent buy also, and I could go on. These models are worth a look if you really want a device that ‘just’ reads books, and for the majority that is what they are looking for, but if you are looking for a digital books reader that to a certain point is future proof then perhaps you should be looking for a wireless portable reading device.

Wireless connectivity may be misleading as you probably think of the wireless connection used with your laptop. With wireless connectivity when used on a wireless portable reading device, the user is able to connect to the Internet through the 3G mobile phone network, no need for hot spots. On the move, be that in the car, on a train, walking, in fact any where you can get a signal, you can read the breaking news, peruse your favorite blog and download books without the need for a computer. You can probably see, this is the future of digital books readers, this is where all manufacturers need to be to survive in what is fast becoming a multi million dollar industry.

Amazon’s entry level model, the Kindle2, can be purchased for around 225 USD at some online stores. Amazon also caters for the business user with their impressive KindleDX, complete near 1:1 A4 display and again free wireless Internet connection through Whispernet wireless services. Another manufacturer that offers wi-fi is the Dutch company iRex Technologies. There wireless connectivity is more akin to what internet users are familiar with. Their iLiad second edition model comes kitted out with the full Linux O/S and easily connects directly, by Ethernet or wireless broadband connection, to the iRex delivery service. iLiad, like Amazon cater for the business/professional user user with their own wireless enabled iRex Digital Books Reader 1000 S. Again this has a near 1:1 reproduction of an A4 sized document, ideal for office and field applications. With this model though, they use second generation touch screen technology along side their wireless connectivity that further enhances the 1000s appeal.

One more to look out for in the future, as it is only just being trialed on the Japanese public, is the colour screen Fujitsu FLEPia. At the moment specification is patchy but it has wireless capability, a browser, is reported to use the Windows O/S that allows users to email, use windows software applications, a touch screen and stylus for making notes and supports file formats that will allow users to download electronic-books from the top online book shops in the world.

As you can now clearly see, a electronic readers come in different guises but the one thing that separates a digital books reader from a wireless portable reading device is who makes it.  

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