Textbooks are a prerequisite to any university course but you don’t need to buy them anymore because there are ways in which to get them for free or more cheaply by going digital.
Review of academic e-book providers
VitalSource claims to have 90% of all core textbooks in use today as e-textbooks as well as the largest collection of course materials
|Cannot highlight the text or create flashcards|
|24/7 access to e-textbooks and e-course materials||Cannot collaborate online with other students|
|Can access via laptops, many tablets and smartphones with or without an internet connection||Cannot review book and course materials before purchase|
|Save up to 80% compared to the price of print textbooks|
|Can search for books by ISBN, Author or Title|
|Rent or buy academic textbooks and have them on multiple devices, including the Kindle eBook reader|
|You have to buy a Kindle|
|Get access to 1,000’s of e-textbooks for FREE if you subscribe to Student Prime||Textbooks may not come with the same supporting learning aids as the printed version of the textbook|
|The app allows you to highlight words and sentences in different colours which you can then categorise and save. These highlights can also be converted into flashcards||Cannot review book and course materials before purchase|
|Can carry all your textbooks all the time on your preferred device||Textbooks are only available in English|
|Search for book by ISBN, Author or Title|
|Can download books 24/7|
ibooks textbooks on ipad
Top education publishers are creating textbooks for iPad
You have to have or buy an ipad as well as buy the books
Download a sample before making purchase
Cannot share study notes with others
Interactive diagrams, image galleries and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text
Not all academic books are available
Highlight text, take notes within ipad and get chapter reviews to make learning easier
Search and glossary function
Alerts when publishers update content with free download of new material
Cheaper than buying the hard copy of the books
Free Learning Resources
A fun way to learn philosophy, biology, chemistry, economics, health, math, history, physics, and sociology via quizzes, videos and study guides. Sparknotes also summarise pieces of literature and poetry
If you rather listen to a book than read it, then check out LibriVox. The website has 100s of free books for you to download that have been read by volunteers. Plus, you can volunteer to read a book too!
Want to access all the great resources from your local library from the comfort of your laptop, then check out Overdrive, which has the resources of 30,000 libraries across the world. It allows you to access e-books, audiobooks, and e-magazines at a library near you. All you need is a valid library card number.
Open Library lists every book – whether in-print or out-of-print, in the world. You can access the whole book for free if it is in the public domain and without copyright or find out where you can buy it.
Project Gutenberg has digitalized 1000’s of books that you can access completely free of charge
Read and download academic textbooks from around the world from the collection of 25 million books that have been digitalised by Google books