Choose Between eBooks and Printed Textbooks

eBooks generally contain the complete text of the printed textbook. Some eBooks also contain additional features and content not available in the printed textbook.

Note: Depending on the class, eBook access might be included with WebAssign® access, eBook access might be an optional purchase, or no eBook might be available.

If an eBook is available for any of your classes, eBook icon My eBooks is displayed in your toolbar in WebAssign. Click eBook icon My eBooks to display a list of the eBooks that are available.

My eBooks menu showing a single eBook and Purchase eBook Access button

If an eBook is available for your class, you should decide whether to purchase eBook access or the printed textbook before you purchase WebAssign access for the class. Each format has advantages and disadvantages, and you should determine which will work best for you.

You might want to review the following criteria:

Criteria

eBook

Printed Textbook

Content
  • Includes the full text along with all figures and tables.
  • Often includes additional content which might be interactive.
  • Includes the full text along with all figures and tables.
Features

Varies by textbook, but usually includes many of the following:

  • Bookmarking
  • Highlighting
  • Annotating
  • Printing pages
  • Searching
  • Opening from assignment
  • Navigating using contents or page number
  • Viewing glossary definitions for terms in context
  • Bookmarking
  • Highlighting
  • Annotating

Highlighting or annotating a printed textbook might reduce its resale value or prevent you from being able to sell it.

Convenience
  • With you wherever you have Internet access.
  • With you wherever you carry it.
Instructor Preference
  • Check with your instructor.
  • Check with your instructor.
Requirements
  • Most eBooks require either the free Flash plugin or the free Adobe Reader.
  • None.
Accessibility
  • eBooks can be zoomed to view as large text.
  • Most eBooks are readable by screen readers.
  • Printed textbook might be available in a Braille or audio edition.
Cost
  • Sometimes included with purchase of WebAssign access for your course.
  • When new, sometimes includes WebAssign access for one or more terms.
Resale
  • Cannot be transferred or sold.
  • Can often be sold at end of term for a portion of the purchase price.
Lifetime
  • Usually available only while enrolled in a class using that edition of the textbook; some eBooks can be downloaded and saved indefinitely.
  • Indefinitely.