New technology adds options for book-lovers

Peiru Lu, reporter

Have you tried an eBook? It is one of the hot technological trends these days. “eBook” is short for electronic book.

There are many advantages for using an eBook. It is great for people who like to read while they travel. To travel without carrying lots of paper books, all you need is just one eBook reader and you have access to as many books as you want. An eBook reader is a portable electronic device used to download books or magazines that are in digital form. You can regard an eBook reader as your own library filled with your favorite books. The MHS library doesn’t offer eBooks.

Librarian Dianne Sugihara is unsure about the possibility of eBooks in the library’s future “because of the money,” She said. “The cost is expensive.”

However, she approves of students reading eBooks.

She said, “I think that any types of books, the paper book, the eBook, even the audio book, it’s good and helps people enjoying reading.”

Readers can find eBooks on websites and at public libraries.

Baron Baroza at Hawaii State Library’s downtown branch, said, “We started providing eBooks and audio books in our website ( since 2004.”

With a Hawaii State Library card, you can download eBooks for a limited time from the website. Comparing the prices of a regular book and an eBook, you can’t see much difference.

Sugihara said the most popular books that the students check out of MHS library are “any books by Nicholas Sparks.”

At, At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks in paperback costs $10.07, and the eBook costs $9.99. Of course, that same digital copy of At First Sight is available for free from the state library. Even if you won’t save money by buying eBooks, you’re helping the planet by using less paper.

There are many devices readers can use for eBooks. You can download books onto your computer or you can buy an eBook reader. Cnet Review rates the best two eBook readers in the $150-200 range are the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, both with 3G/Wi-Fi. Apple iPad is another popular device for eBooks. It costs more, about $500, but has 16GB. With an eBook reader, it is easy to zoom in on text. You are also able to change the word size if you want.

English teacher Gary Larsen,reads eBooks on his iPhone. He started reading digital books about five years ago. Right now, he is reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen that he downloaded from

When asked what advice he would give to students interested in or curious about eBooks, he said, “I will recommend that (students) figure out how to get an eBook to your computer. “

The very first eBook was a digital copy of The Declaration of Independence, created by Michael Hart’s Project Gutenberg in 1971. Readers can still find free books to download from Maybe you need to read A Tale of Two Cities for your English class. This website has a copy for you.