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E-books @ the CIIS Library   Tags: e-books, ebooks, electronic books, online books  

This guide will cover how to find, use, and cite e-books at the CIIS Library (and beyond!)
Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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General Information

Some E-book Formats

  • acsm
    The .acsm file is used by Adobe Digital Editions to place the digital rights management (DRM) protections on many types of digital content (such as PDF and EPUB formats). This is not the e-book file! When you download an e-book file, an .ascm file is also downloaded to manage the rights of the downloaded content (such as length of time available).
  • azw
    Amazon's proprietary DRM restricted format is used solely for Kindle e-readers.
  • EPUB
    An open e-book standard created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Features reflowable text, inline images, and supports DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected e-books. The latest version is EPUB3 (2011).
  • mobi
    A format primarily designed for PDAs and smart phones. Allows access to DRM and non-DRM content. Epub format can also be converted easily into mobi format. In 2012, Amazon stopped using mobi and started using KF8 ("Kindle Fire 8").
  • PDF
    PDF, or Portable Document format, was created in the early 90s as a document sharing format. It is best for highly formatted content, images, and has the ability to support DRM (Digital Rights Management) content.

E-Book Apps and Software

There is currently no universal e-book format and not all formats work on all computers or devices. To help with this, apps and software have been developed.

Here are some of them:

  • Adobe Digital Editions
    TO DOWNLOAD DRM-PROTECTED BOOKS. Use free AdobeĀ® Digital Editions (ADE) software to download or transfer copy-protected (DRM) e-books to and from your computer/laptop to other devices. ADE also supports industry-standard eBook formats, including PDF and EPUB. NOTES: (1) This software is required to read public library books and some CIIS e-books. (2) On iDevices, ADE and the BlueFire app (see below) *must* use the same Adobe ID.
  • Adobe PDF Reader
    Adobe Reader software is the global standard for electronic document sharing. It is the only PDF file viewer that can open and interact with all PDF documents
  • Aldiko for Android
    This is another option for Android devices such as smartphones and tablets.
  • Amazon Apps for Many Devices
  • Barnes & Noble Apps for Many Devices
  • Bluefire Reader App for iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire
    FOR IPHONE, IPAD, IPOD TOUCH, and KINDLE FIRE. This free app allows you to view or download DRM-protected e-books directly on your iDevice, without having to use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).
  • Calibre
    TO MANAGE YOUR E-BOOK COLLECTION. Calibre is free software that will sync to your e-device and convert, organize, and generally help you to manage your e-book collection. It allows you to convert e-book formats to read on different e-reader devices. Here is the FAQ:
  • DL Reader for Windows mobile devices
    This is an e-book reader app for Windows Surface RT/Surface 2. Requires Adobe account.
  • FileOpen
    This browser plug-in is required to be installed in order to view Taylor & Francis e-books.
  • Overdrive Media Console
    For using Overdrive e-books and audiobooks from your public library (and other sources).
  • Schubert|it for Mac
    This browser plug-in is required to be installed in order to view EBSCO e-books on a Mac desktop or laptop.

Calibre: e-book Manager and format converter

Have an e-book but can't read it on your e-reader?

Calibre is a free e-book format converter. It allows you to organize, re-format, and manage your e-book collection on your computer.

Note: Calibre does not remove DRM protection from e-books.


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Kelly Sundin
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