What are e-books, and why are they better?
Books vs. e-books|
The printed book is not dead! However, just as books have their strengths, they also have disadvantages. Many of the old texts we deal with are so rare or long out-of-print as to be almost impossible to obtain. For instance, only 400 copies of "Land and Water Bugs" were ever printed; a good-quality copy may cost £300 or more. This puts it well beyond the reach of most people, and yet it remains the classic work for the identification of the Heteroptera. What's more, using any book in the field, or for identification in the laboratory, runs the risk of damaging it. Photocopying the book is a poor alternative.
What is an e-book?
Pisces e-books are supplied on CD as Adobe Acrobat PDF files. The PDF format is well known, extremely versatile, and will run on both Windows and Mac operating systems. The Acrobat Reader software to use them is available as a free download from Adobe - and we also supply the 2 latest Windows versions on the e-book CDs.
Many e-books are simply 'photographic' copies of the originals. This means that the pages are scanned images of the book. This can give a poor-quality image, with a huge file size, and means that the text can not be selected, or searched. Pisces e-books are carefully scanned from the originals, repeatedly proof-read, saved as fully-searchable text, and paginated exactly as the original, so that all page and index references remain correct. We do not make corrections or alterations to the original, except:
How do they work?|
When we build an e-book, we create a bookmark system, based on the original book's chapters and sections, headings and keys, which you can use to navigate through the e-book. Jumps (which work exactly like hyperlinks on a website) are created from all references in the text (for instance "See Fig. 21.3"), and from the keys, tables of contents, lists of illustrations, index, etc. So when you see a reference to another page, just click, and you're there - no more scrolling up and down desperately looking for the right page.
All the text can be selected, and copied/pasted into other documents, if needed. Text and figures can be printed - ideal if you just want to take one key into the field with you. And best of all, you can use the Search function to find every reference to a key word or phrase. All this enables you to use a book to its fullest potential.
Where the book contains plates, they are usually also supplied as high-resolution images on the CD. And where an updated species list, or details of changes of nomenclature, are available, we add those to the CD too.
Why are they better?
Guide to using e-books
For a guide to using Pisces e-books, click here (PDF document; click to open in browser, right-click and choose 'Save...' to download).