Read an eBook Day18th September 2023
Once upon a time books were created and read by all throughout the land. Time passed by blissfully… books enjoyed being held, paper pages turned, bookshops flourished and ‘to be read’ piles were toppling. Nothing was going to unsettle the world of bookworms. That was until the modern day came along, the 20th Century arrived and along with it the evil eBook. Booklovers were afraid of eBooks… HOW do you buy them? WHAT do you read them on? Do they last forever? WHERE do the books live? Not on a bookshelf like our beloved physical books. Endless new terms and acronyms followed eBooks, like ‘VLE’, ‘licences’, ‘integration’, ‘download’ and ‘E-reader’… the list was endless, and confusion was rife. There was uproar in the book world, or perhaps just a fear of the unknown?
Every story has two sides and eBooks were desperate to share theirs. They loudly proclaimed that there are numerous advantages of digital books, especially in our technologically advancing world. People throughout the land love print books for their authenticity and the feel of holding an actual book, but these new arrivals are more functional and fare far better in terms of ease of carrying. eBooks shouted from the rooftops with their ‘read aloud’ function, ‘eBooks are great, give us a try, you’ll learn to love us and here is why…’
- One device, many books… carry a whole library in your back pocket. eBooks are portable and lightweight, making them much easier to carry around than multiple bulky books. One E-Reader can hold thousands of eBooks, it saves a lot of space in your home and in your bag, so you never have to worry about storage limit.
- Eco-friendly… eBooks require no trees to create them. If paper printed books were replaced with a digital book it could save millions of trees from being chopped down. Not only are trees sacrificed, print books also add to the carbon footprint by transporting the raw materials, the production process and the final shipping. So even though it may seem strange to think an electronic device could have less of an impact on the environment than traditional books their impact is in fact much lower, hurrah!
- Inclusive and accessible… Mainstream understanding of dyslexia has come a long way and eBooks offer numerous benefits for these readers or those with poor eyesight. These include the ability to change the text size and spacing of lines, the style of font, screen brightness levels, multiple background colours and text-to-speech capabilities. An E-Reader now has more in common with electronic devices young people use all the time, like smartphones or iPads, making them a familiar gadget to use. eBooks can be accessed anytime and anywhere, on the go or in the comfort of your home… no need to travel to make a purchase or wait for the book to be delivered, eBooks are instant. Even libraries now offer digital eBook lending.
- A solution to challenging times… after the global pandemic, eBooks have become a vital resource in children’s and adult literacy. Sadly, when bookshops had to close, eBooks gave readers a way to still escape and schools a way to deliver reading books to children and a reliable format to support literacy skills.
- A solution to changing times…. We live in a multicultural country with many languages spoken by people who have made the UK their home, yet bookshops have books in English only and sourcing books in other languages is expensive and cumbersome. This was highlighted when many refugees fleeing the Ukraine couldn’t find anything to read in their native language. eBooks makes accessibility to text in all languages easier, in a much more cost-effective way.
- Read Aloud… eBooks have been designed with ‘text-to-speech’ or ‘read aloud features’, this allows people to listen to the eBooks if they need to multi-task. This feature is also helpful for people with learning difficulties or visually impaired. It’s also great to understand how a particular word is pronounced (remember when no-one knew how to pronounce Hermione’s name in Harry Potter?)
- Interactive elements… make the reading experience a more engaging one. eBooks can be embedded with audio and videos and external links can be included to offer additional information. Pages can be bookmarked, words can be quickly searched for, annotations can be added and key phrases highlighted. There’s even a built-in dictionary. Navigation of a book has never been easier.
Most importantly, some may argue, eBooks can even be read in the dark!
The list of eBook advantages is endless, walls were broken down and people of the book world finally started to accept eBooks into their land. Although printed books will always have a loyal following, booklovers began to realise print books and eBooks can live harmoniously. Even the famous Stephen Fry visited the realm and proclaimed, “books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators”. With that being said time passed by and readers began to realise it shouldn’t be print books vs. eBooks… it doesn’t matter how you choose to read your books; the important thing is that you keep reading! From that day forward eBooks and print books lived together happily ever after.
Read an eBook Day – 18th September 2023
Read an eBook day is an annual celebration of modern storytelling. It is a way to bring together family, friends, schools and libraries and discover your next favourite digital title. In need of some inspiration? We have plenty of lists hand-picked by the Browns Books team to scroll through such as:
We don’t need an excuse to read a book, but if we did ‘Read an eBook Day’ is a perfect one. The benefits of reading are huge, it provides comfort, reassurance, security, relaxation, happiness and fun. At Browns Books we are adamant that reading can be fun for all (you can read more about that in our previous blog ‘Books that Inspire a Love of Reading’*) and as eBooks are so versatile and inclusive it couldn’t be easier to divulge your inner bookworm.
One of our favourite parts of ‘Read an eBook Day’ is hearing all about the great books others are reading. Yes, your ‘to be read’ pile may grow, but it should be a risk you’re willing to take. You can share what you’re reading on social media using the hashtag #ebookLove. Browns Books VleBooks users can easily share on Facebook and X what they are reading as beside each title is a ‘share button’, so discovering your next favourite is just one tap away.
Browns Books – VLeBooks
At Browns Books we have our very own eBook platform – VLeBooks. With over 2 million eBooks to choose from, students can be empowered by having quick and easy access to the texts they need. The content and the accessibility can be tailored to your needs, and you can set up your own preferences for the platform, options include: change in font size, high contrast, highlight links, underline links, greyscale colour mode, dyslexic friendly font, change of language and changing the background colour.
We can easily integrate with your current Library and Financial Management System, making ordering eBooks straightforward. It’s a great solution for the classroom, especially if multiple students need simultaneous access to the same title.
VLeBooks requires only the use of a web browser, no additional software or plugins. Reports can be generated to identify popular titles and also track reading for individual students, which helps with reading progression.
Our VleBooks page has more information on our platform VLeBooks (brownsbfs.co.uk)
We hold our hands up, it took us a long time to understand all the jargon and acronyms that comes along with eBooks. It’s a lot to take in (what on earth classes as an E-reader?! And why are there different licenses?!). Hopefully our ‘VLeBooks FAQs’ page should be able to answer these questions vle faq (brownsbfs.co.uk). Or if you would like further information our Customer Care team are a call away or can be contacted via our ‘Live Chat’.
What am I reading for Read an Ebook Day? After the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction longlist was announced on the 6th of September (Baillie Gifford Prize (brownsbfs.co.uk)) I wanted to get stuck in with some of this year’s contenders. The obvious choice for me is Sunday Times bestseller ‘Ultra-Processed People’ by Chris van Tulleken. So far it’s an eye-opener into truly understanding what we eat and why. Take the chance to travel through the world of food science yourself…
Laura, Content and Selections Team
Tulleken, Chris van
It's not you, it's the food.
We have entered a new 'age of eating' where most of our calories come from an entirely novel set of substances called Ultra-Processed Food, food which is industrially processed and designed and marketed to be addictive. But do we really know what it's doing to our bodies?
Join Chris in his travels through the world of food science and a UPF...More Details