What are e-books:

E-books is short for electronic books; books that are delivered in an electronic format rather than the traditional format of printed publication.

Electronic textbooks and journals have become more readily available and accessible in the last 10 years via electronic publishers (primary and secondary) and aggregators (people who gather content from various sources and offer it in one place) Most academic, medical and public libraries will have at least some access to electronic publications, mainly for research, students, etc. and that is growing daily.

More recently, many mainstream publishers have been offering their books in electronic formats too. These are usually sold alongside the printed and audio versions and can be downloaded in a variety of formats. Some publishers are even offering free ebooks by some of their popular authors for a limited time only.

There are also numerous free e-books available for download or for reading online. Many classic books that are now in the public domain have been digitised and are available free. Some authors, like Kelley Armstrong, offer free Online Fiction that is written specifically for that purpose and not available in printed form. Others offer excerpts and sample chapters on their websites, to whet your appetite.

E-Book Readers:
There are a variety of formats, some proprietary, like the new Amazon Kindle,Microsoft Reader, Palm E-Reader, some broader like html, pdf, word/rtf.

Pdf can be downloaded and read by anyone who has Acrobat Reader installed on their computer. The acrobat reader part of Adobe Acrobat is free to download.
HTML/web format displays the content like a webpage. It can be viewed online or it can be saved and loaded later to a web browser even if you are offline.
Microsoft Reader is free software from Microsoft! Hard to believe right lol. You can download the program, install it on your computer, and then read ebooks in the .Lit format that they use. It displays one page of text at a time and looks like a little book. There is also a plugin you can add to it that will have a computer who sounds like Stephen Hawking, read the book aloud to you.
E-reader is also free software (there is another version that has more features and isn’t free). The E-reader allows you to download and read books on your MAC, PC or Palm Pilot. You can also read Word documents on your Palm if you have the right program, which usually comes bundled with the Palm Pilot and is also free.

There is also software available to use on your mobile phone.

Downloads:

Download free Microsoft Reader for Windows Based PCs/Laptops Note: microsoft will want you to activate the software but you don’t need to, it’s just another way for them to keep track of you!

Download free E-Reader for MACs

Download free E-Reader for Windows PCs

Download free E-Reader for Palm Pilots

No additional software is required for HTML/Word formats, if you have a computer with internet access or Microsoft Word