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The architecture of a very large scale integration (VLSI) based system capable of storing, processing, and displaying information normally contained in book form is presented in this paper. The operational characteristics of the system, including complex string search capabilities, are discussed. Portability aspects of the system are considered. The implications of VLSI-based electronic books in industry and in the scientific, legal, and medical professions are outlined. Educational possibilities for such systems are investigated. Technology requirements are defined.