Looking for a book this summer? Student worker Ryan Eshelman provides us with a view into e-books.

It seems like every time a new piece of technology is introduced, people are quick to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim it as “The next big thing”, often supposedly rendering whatever it replaced obsolete. This happened somewhat recently, with the introduction of electronic books, or “eBooks” for short.

eBooks were not regarded as much of a threat to physical print at launch, as they had to be read on a bulky home computer. However, in 2007, Amazon released the Kindle, a portable eBook reader. Able to store over a thousand books, this changed everything. Although not the first eReader, the Kindle was so wildly popular that it sold out within 5 hours of launch, and libraries everywhere started integrating technology to allow patrons to “check out” eBooks, which would then delete themselves after a set period. 6 years later, eReaders have become mainstream, with many people owning one, or a tablet with an eBook reader app.[For more information see our Libguide on Tablets.]

Yet this doesn’t necessarily mean that physical books are dying. There are many reasons to still head to Masland Library to check out a book. For one thing, it’s free. While there are a few classics that can be downloaded onto a reader for free, the majority of eBooks cost money. Another wonderful feature of the physical book is that it can’t run out of power. Some people just prefer the feel of turning the pages of a physical book in their hands, or even the satisfying “thud” of slamming a finished book closed. Whatever your preferences, the Masland Library has both physical and electronic resources available to you, to suit any need or inclination.

To see what the Masland Library has available you can check the Library Catalog for more information.  To download ebooks from the Masland Library you will need to download the ebrary app from either Google Play or the iTunes store.