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'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' is both an ebook and an reader see related question. Is the relationship necessarily one to one? Can the ebook be stored and read on a different ereader? Can the ereader store and display other ebooks?

Looking for in universe, canon supported answer. If there is a difference in franchises of the universe please indicate.

closed as primarily opinion-based by neilfein, HorusKol, K-H-W, Ward, user8719 Feb 20 '14 at 9:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @JamesJenkins: I don’t see anything in that question indicating that The Guide is both an ebook and a reader, in the sense that we’d understand them. Could you provide a little supporting evidence for that assertion? – Paul D. Waite Feb 19 '14 at 23:55
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    @PaulD.Waite - in-universe, it is. The OP is referring to The Guide (i.e the electronic book with "Don't Panic" printed on it's case, published by Megadodo Publications of Ursa Minor Beta) which is described in terms we'd understand as being an e-book today. However, since the modern concept of e-books didn't even exist when the stories were written this may be difficult to answer. – user8719 Feb 20 '14 at 1:03
  • @JimmyShelter: oh, I know that's what the OP's referring to. I just wasn't sure the e-book-plus-e-reader description was justified (like @EdCottrell), although it has been some years since I've read the book. – Paul D. Waite Feb 20 '14 at 9:26
  • I don't see the Guide as an e-reader. More like a tablet. – Mr Lister Feb 20 '14 at 19:33
  • The Guide is literally referred to as "a sort of electronic book". In the earlier adaptations, and the first couple of books, it appears to be a static physical device, with new editions sold as new physical devices. It's in (IIRC) SLATFATF that the book is first described as having a download function, with updates beamed through the sub-ether to the device. This is most likely because such technology didn't exist when Adams wrote the first versions, and it didn't cross his mind to invent it. – VBartilucci Oct 2 '18 at 20:07
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Well, as you no doubt recall, The Guide Mark II (introduced in Mostly Harmless) was a Vogon-engineered, bird-like, multi-dimensional, time-traveling WMD. If it is considered a legitimate version of the Guide, then no, the Guide was far more than an ebook/ereader. Trying to read it on your Kindle might prompt the Guide Mark II to turn your device into sentient radioactive slag that would kill your great-great-grandparents whilst simultaneously taunting your great-great-grandchildren, just for sport.

Even in the "Mark I" sense, I think the Guide was more like a combination of an iPad, Wikipedia, and Stack Exchange - evolving, dynamic, non-linear, and subject to various kinds of abuse.

So, my vote is: no, the Guide is neither ereader nor ebook, and trying to use it simply as either might cause justified panicking.

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    "Guide Mark II to turn your device into sentient radioactive slag that would kill your great-great-grandparents whilst simultaneously taunting your great-great-grandchildren, just for sport"....I think you have captured the very essence of Douglas Adams in that quote. – Mike Clark May 19 '16 at 21:32

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