An electronic book (variously, e-book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as “an electronic version of a printed book,” but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. E-books are usually read on dedicated e-book readers or general purpose computer tablets. Personal computers and many mobile phones (most smart phones) can also be used to read e-books.
The inventor and the title of the first e-book is not widely agreed upon. Some notable candidates are listed here.
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…