Here you will find everything you need to know about the media type "eBook":

What are eBooks?

The term "eBook" is a short form of "electronic book". An eBook is an electronic file that contains the content of a book.

Advantages of eBooks

(plus) They do not require space on your bookshelf.

(plus) They can be bought or borrowed at any time of the day.

(plus) They do not need any paper or ink.

(plus) They can have many additional functions:

  • Search the whole content by terms.
  • Mark text passages.
  • Create notes.
  • Look up terms in integrated lexika and dictionaries.

Disadvantages of eBooks

(minus) They lack the feel, the smell and the rustling while turning a page.

(minus) For eBooks you need a reading device with a power supply.

(minus) Purchased eBooks can not be legally distributed to third parties.

eBook formats on the Onleihe

The following eBook formats are used on the Onleihe:

  • ePub: The ePub format is suitable for every reading device because it can adapt to every screen size. It works especially good for pure textbooks, such as novels and narrations.

  • PDF: eBooks in the portable document format (short: PDF) have fixed line breaks and page breaks. Books with tables, graphics and pictures are mostly available as PDF. However, the fixed page layout makes PDF eBooks less suitable for mobile devices with smaller screens.

Technical possibilities of use

eBooks can be read on a vast variety of devices:

  • Tablets and smartphones: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be read on tablets and smartphones. There are Onleihe apps for iOS and Android devices, which you can download for free.

  • eReader: Currently, all available eReaders are compatible with the Onleihe. The only exception are the Kindle eReader device. Its production company Amazon only allows copyright protected eBooks of its own format - AZM - to be opened on the very device.

  • PC and Notebook: The eBooks of the Onleihe can be used with Windows, Mac and Linux computers. 

More information on the compatibility of the media types are available in our overview: What works on which device.

Copy protection: The digital rights management

The eBooks of the Onleihe have a copyright protection, the so-called "Digital Rights Management" (DRM). More information can be found here.

Welches Lesegerät soll ich mir kaufen?

Comparison of reading devices

Below is an overview of the different devices and their abilities.

Battery life
(star)(green star)(green star)(star)
Display of pictures(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)
Display of videos(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)

Screen size

(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Readability of pure text
(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Color(green star)(red star)(green star)(green star)
Weight(green star)(green star)(green star)(red star)
(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Suitable for fiction
(green star)(green star)(green star)(green star)
Suitable for non-fiction
(star)(star)(green star)(green star)

(green star) Very good: The device is suited for this function.

(star) Moderately good: The device is moderately suited for this function.

(red star) Poor: The device does not offer this function or is not suitable for it at all.

Which device is the right one for me?

The kind of reading device which might be right for you depends on what type of person you are:

The bookworm

You devour one book after another - especially novels - therefore you wish to have the best possible display for the text? You like to read your book without any distraction from other apps or functions?

If this is the case, you should get an eBook reader with an eInk screen.

The practical type

You do not want to carry different devices with you when one multi-functional device offers it all? You are a frequent or an occasional reader. Wherever you are there are always enough power outlets, so that a low battery life is no problem for you? If so, a tablet or smartphone is the right device for you.

The expert

You work with non-fiction books, maybe you are even writing a thesis, and would like to use excerpts from an eBook to paste it right into office software? If this is the case, a laptop or PC is best suited for you.