As avid book lovers, we’re thrilled to be celebrating Read an E-Book Month this March and every other March coming up. Can you believe that e-books have been with us for nearly 50 years? They’ve gone through many changes and technological advancements, but they have been around for half a century in their most basic form. They have drastically changed the way we read, making books more accessible, easier to transport, and easily digestible. Read on to learn more about this technological advancement.
History of Read an E-Book Month
The 1970s witnessed the completion of an electronic index to Thomas Aquinas’ works prepared by Roberto Busa, S.J.; a journey that started back in 1946. It became known as “The Index Thomisticus,” and is considered by many the first e-book ever made. Initially, it was stored on a single computer, until a distributable CD-ROM version was released in 1989, which became the very first distribution of an electronic book. But that’s not the only discovery element that led to Read an E-Book Month. The idea of dedicating a complete month was preceded by a week, so there was Read an E-Book Week.
Read an E-Book Week, founded by Rita Toews, who is a mother and avid reader, is an annual international celebration of e-books. It brings together e-book retailers, publishers, authors, device makers, and readers looking for new stories to read and enjoy. She was inspired by her own experiences in authoring and assisting other authors she knew with their memoirs and novels. She ultimately approached her local library in 2004 launching the Read an E-book Week.
Read an E-Book Week was the seed implanted that led to the dedication of the whole month of March as Read an E-Book Month. It is now celebrated by both readers and authors around the globe, with many e-book events and sales taking place throughout the month. The sole purpose of this extra special month is to honor the history of e-books and celebrate the efficient purchasing, storing, and reading of these books. In contrast, physical books can cost more, weigh more, and are not as easy to carry around when traveling, especially if you’re a bookworm.
Read an E-Book Month timeline
Michael S. Hart creates an electronic document by typing the “Declaration of Independence” into a computer in plain text to make it easy to download and view on different devices.
Sony launches the Data Discman, an electronic book reader that could read e-books stored on CDs.
Read an E-Book Week is founded by Rita Toews.
An Amazon sales report indicates that e-book sales for their Kindle outnumber sales of hardcover books.
Barnes & Noble releases the most prominent e-reader with a 7.8-inch E Ink screen and calls it the GlowLight Plus.
Read an E-Book Month FAQs
Are free e-books safe?
Ensure you purchase from a reputable retailer and only distribute e-books only if the company or author permits it.
Do I own my e-books?
When you buy an e-book from a major retailer, you are not purchasing it but rather licensing it.
Do I need an app to read an e-book?
You don’t need special software to read e-books; simply open them in your web browser. You can also download the entire e-book for offline reading using the free Adobe Digital Editions app (for desktops) or the Ebook Reader app (for mobile devices).
Read an E-Book Month Activities
Buy an e-book reader
We get it; bookworms like the smell and feel of a brand new or old and aged book in their hands. But think about an all-you-can-read feast of books, stored safely in an electronic device at your fingertips anytime you feel like reading. Sounds exhilarating, right? Give it a try.
Gift a loved one with an e-book
Many of us have trouble buying gifts for some of our relatives. Why not gift them an e-book or voucher for an online e-book store?
Reread your favorite novel on an e-book reader
If you’ve already jumped into the e-books realm, why not revisit some old hardcover books from your past? Find your favorite work online and purchase it so you can read it on your device.
5 Facts About E-Books
Libraries are going digital
The British Library began digitizing its most valuable manuscripts.
You can subscribe to e-book libraries
The world’s first subscription-based e-book platform was launched in 2011.
E-Book readers almost looked like gameboys
GemBook was a 1999 concept e-reader that used replaceable memory cards and did not require connecting to another device.
You can fit thousands of books
A typical school library's entire collection could fit into a single e-reader, which can go up to collections of about 25,000 books.
A leader in the e-book realm
"The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown was the first novel from a major publisher to be released simultaneously in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.
Why We Love Read an E-Book Month
Another platform to encourage reading
We love how the younger generations can now choose to go digital and read e-books. For once, screen time will actually be beneficial.
E-Books save trees
Going electronic saves hundreds or even thousands of trees every year that would have been used to make paper for books. Saving the environment sounds like a great reason to use e-books.
You can revisit books without damaging them
Farewell, torn, and loose pages. Say hello to compact and effortless reading without books getting worn out.
Read an E-Book Month dates