Books have been an emotive subject for centuries; they further and represent knowledge, belief, culture and a whole lot more. Doing things to books has an impact, too – whether it’s the dramatic (like tomecide, the symbolic burning of books) or just the annoying (ever leant someone a book, then seen how they folded back along the spine, or just never gave it back?)
The book business has been a metaphor for big vs small biz for years, as well – from the Shop Around the Corner in You’ve Got Mail to the phenomenon of Amazon and the massed ranks of bricks & mortar sellers.
For years now, the assumption has been that real books are going the way of the CD or the DVD – still around, but in terminal decline as technology has changed the game to allow people to read content electronically rather than needing the inconvenience of printing, distributing, retailing and storing all those bits of dead tree.
Despite gloomy forecasts for the future of the printed word, earlier this year, it was reported that sales of electronic books were falling, against a rise in sales of physical books. The dedicated ebook reader appears to have had its day, with mobiles and tablets occupying that niche more, but younger readers are turning to real books again, presumably so they thumb through the tomes while listening to their LPs.
So, what better time to introduce electronic books into your favourite web browser? Edge has an eBook library – click the Hub icon on the toolbar and look under the books icon to see it. See here for more details.
You can download eBooks from a variety of online resources – including Microsoft Virtual Academy. In more recent Insider builds for Windows 10, the functionality and layout has changed (there’s no more “Shop for books” link, as the revamped Store has – at least for now – no obvious way of distributing books), and more change is likely to come.
Still, Microsoft employees can open the books section, sign in with their Microsoft.com address, and see the employee edition of Satya’s Hit Refresh eBook automatically provisioned.