They are necessary and often hefty in both weight and price. Textbooks can be a drain on a student’s finances, but the good news is that some textbooks are available as free downloads online.

E-textbooks have grown in popularity. Higher education instructors have turned to using e-textbooks because they can easily choose from a wide selection, and students don’t have to carry around backpacks full of heavy books.

What Are Textbooks Online?

There are many reputable companies online such as GetTextbooks.com that offer basic textbooks online. These can be downloaded and perused at your leisure.

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An e-textbook is also called a digital textbook or online textbook. It is the electronic version of the physical textbook. Not all e-textbooks have physical counterparts.

E-textbooks in College

Publishers are cranking out more e-textbooks every year to keep up with the demand that professors and students have for e-textbooks.

E-textbook reviews by college instructors and students help the publisher to include more information as well as interactive hyperlinks and more. Students can find textbooks online in the field that they hope to study in college and read up on rudimentary information to get ahead of the type of classwork they will be doing in their first year.

E-textbooks Interactive Element

The digital textbook has more features that can help a student much more than a physical book can. For instance, a social studies e-textbook by Pearson will include hyperlinks to relevant online sources to further explain a theory, to delve deeper into a global issue or to otherwise educate the student beyond the ideas that are presented in the e-textbook.

This type of online connection is ideal for medical students. An e-textbook can link the readers to videos of surgeries to give them a virtual tour of an operation or technique.

Math and computer majors are able to test theories and play with potential problems with other students working on the same type of lessons in other states or cities who are also studying the same e-textbook.

Benefits of E-textbooks

The benefits of e-textbooks are abundant. They are easily and quickly delivered so you can get a jump start on a class without having to wait for the book to arrive. The e-textbook can also be updated immediately with the latest information or with data that can change the information you need to be studying to stay relevant in your chosen field.

Other benefits of e-textbooks include:

  • Highlighting Function – You can highlight passages that are important and easily find them for future reference.

  • Search Option – The search function allows you to quickly and easily find specific text.

  • Note Feature – Many e-readers you can use to read the e-textbooks have notes that can be attached to pages or tagged to specific words or paragraphs in the book during class so you can return to them later to study further.

  • Copy and Paste Function – This allows you to use the text as a quote to prove a point or debate an issue.

Audio and E-textbooks

Many e-textbooks can be converted to audio files. This can help you to listen to the text while working, driving, exercising or just lounging. The audio e-textbook provides you with a hands-free way to learn.

Types of E-textbooks

The range of e-textbooks is continually expanding. There is a wide selection of e-textbooks for basic college coursework, including:

  • Math
  • Natural science
  • Computer science
  • English
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Marketing and law
  • Engineering
  • Career and study advice
  • Health care and medicine
  • IT and programming
  • Statistics

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.