What are ebooks?

KindleThe idea of digital publishing, the ebook format, isn’t popular in Brazil yet and some people ask me: “how can I read the books you’ve translated?” or “I would like to know more about the Kindle format”. Well, digital books are related to technology that once again came to innovate, and why not say, to revolutionize old ideas, one of them is how we perceive books. Thus, they are electronic content, for instance, ‘.ePub’ or ‘.mobi’ files, that resemble books, but should be read in electronic devices like computers, tablets or the so-called Kindle that has a huge advantage over the others: portability.

What’s a Kindle?

Kindle is a digital book reader (e-reader) in which we can download and keep all those books we want to read so much. It was designed by Amazon ten years ago and is simple to use. It allows reading even under direct sunlight; we can access vocabulary for those difficult words; the battery lasts weeks and it can store thousands of ebooks. With Kindle we can download lots of books for free, buy others at very low prices or make a monthly subscription paying only a small amount. Oh boy, there is no more excuses, let’s read more, gift our children and friends with a stylish book. Anyway, go out spreading the taste of reading to the world. Reading will always be a safe investment.

I’m a loyal Kindle user for many reasons: besides being easy to use, it’s lightweight, fits in the suitcase or bag and allows me to go out carrying any books I want to read, enjoying them during short or long trips, at relaxing times or that basic reading before falling asleep. People say that “we‘re never alone when we’re reading a book”, imagine with two, three, four books in our hands. All we need is to free our imagination…  it’s tons of fun!

The books translated by me (O Tradutor InsubstituívelO meu gato odeia SchrödingerO homem das pipas Esmeralda Grunch e a Tulipa Vermelha) have been published digitally and are available from Amazon. With all this ease, the idea is to focus on reading and best of all is you can read what you want, where you want and when you want… oh, I forgot to tell you, and how you want! Focus on reading guys and enjoy it!

 “Hopeful realistic”

In Italy, ebooks have already gained a good space in schools and universities. Already in 2011, the Ateneo of the University of Padua held its first course totally based on ebooks and today has a digital library that can even be consulted at home. The ebookscuola is another example. It’s a platform available to teachers of all disciplines and schools in all grades. It’s also recognized by the MIUR – Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca [Ministry of Education, University and Research]. The most recent news is that the EU, as for paper books, allowed to cut the VAT for ebooks. “It is a great victory for Italy and the European readers”, said the president of AIE – Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers Association), Ricardo Franco Levi.

In Brazil, as I said above, the doubts are many because we are taking the first steps in respect to ebook production and sale. According to a recent research published by Fipe – Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas [Institute for Economic Research], the digital books market in Brazil represents 1,09% of the total revenue of publishers. The fist Census of Digital Books surveyed 794 publishers and only 294 produced and marketed digital content (37%). But this is just the beginning. With all advantages the format offers, such as cost and portability, the digital books will soon transform the Brazilian editorial market. All right, I confess, I’m Ariano Suassuna’s ‘hopeful realistic’. As wisely said by the Brazilian author and poet “The optimist is a fool. The pessimist is boring. The best would be a hopeful realist.”

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