10 Places to Buy Digital Textbooks Online

Apr 25, 2011

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Digital textbooks provide a convenient and tree-friendly alternative to their printed counterparts. As a perk, they're also typically much less expensive than traditional textbooks. This article details ten of the best places to find digital textbooks online.

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#1 Zinio

Zinio is a far-reaching provider of hundreds of thousands of digital content titles, including magazines, children's books and fiction novels. The website offers digital textbooks in over a dozen categories. Zinio allows you to look inside textbooks before purchase. Also, most textbooks are offered at steeply discounted rates.

#2 CengageBrain.com

CengageBrain.com is a multifaceted site for digital and print textbooks. It enables you to purchase complete digital textbooks or individual chapters. You also can buy or rent books on the site.

#3 CourseSmart

You can save significant cash when you buy one of the 6,000-8,000 textbook titles available through CourseSmart. The average CourseSmart shopper saves more than $60 on every digital textbook purchased.

#4 eCampus.com

This website has long been a popular source of low-cost printed textbooks and recently expanded to begin offering digital textbooks. Many of the website's digital textbooks include features such as highlighting, note-taking and printing capabilities.

#5 McGraw-Hill eBookstore

McGraw-Hill offers more than 900 of their print textbooks in digital form though their eBookstore. The digital versions are identical to print versions, but cost an average of 50 percent less. McGraw-Hill's digital versions can be highlighted, annotated and bookmarked.

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#6 Textbook Revolution

Textbook Revolution is a student-run website devoted to increasing access to free digital textbooks. The site links to free digital textbooks available in a variety of formats, including e-books, PDF files and more.

#7 BooksOnBoard

BooksOnBoard bills itself as the world's largest independent ebookstore. Its selection of digital textbooks is modest compared to other sites on this list. However, many of its digital textbooks are available at significant discounts.

#8 VitalSource Bookshelf

VitalSource Bookshelf is focused exclusively on providing digital textbooks This is unlike many sites, where textbooks comprise just one facet of their overall operations. Founded in 1994, VitalSource Bookshelf works directly with publishers and academic institutions to provide top notch educational digital content.

#9 CafeScribe

CafeScribe provides digital textbooks with which you can take notes, highlight and perform searches. Moving beyond many of its competitors, this site also fosters collaboration among students. You can form study groups, share documents and search the notes of others around the world.

#10 Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg includes more than 33,000 digital books you can download, all of which have been digitized by volunteers and are available for free. The website is a great resource for books in dozens of different languages.

Digital textbooks may be increasing in popularity and availability, but their rise is not without debate.