Two More Sources for Obtaining Digital College Textbooks: and WW

Actually finding a digital textbook is finally becoming an obtainable goal that doesn’t take longer than it would take to read the book. I created a lengthy document on various methods for obtaining digital textbooks last summer for a summer session group of students. I have copied and pasted that document’s section on purchasing electronic textbooks on a separate post.  It may not be too late for some students who would like this option for their fall courses, and I will repost before the beginning of next semester as a reminder.


1.  sells both hard copies and etexts.  The etexts are available in PDF and/or VitalSource format.  VitalSource has a free screen reader with a note taking feature download with purchase of book.  “Select any of over 10,000 eBooks available to purchase on our site.”

“What are eBooks?

eBooks are digital, downloadable versions of print textbooks. All content of the book should be the same. eBooks are a great way to access the same information as regular textbooks while saving money, saving paper and thereby saving the environment.

Why should I buy eBooks vs. a physical textbook?

  • Instant access to your book
  • Reduced price over physical text
  • No paper consumed/no waste produced

How long do eBooks last? Do they expire?

eBooks (digital textbooks) are valid and readable on your computer for a minimum of 12 months (expiration rules may vary by publisher) after your initial activation (activation, not download).

Can I print from my eBooks?

Yes. Printing rules vary by publisher. Most eBooks have no limitations regarding printing capability, but some allow only up to 100 pages per week.

Can I share my eBooks?

eBooks are designed as one-time downloads to a single computer owned by one user. Encoded Digital Rights Management does not allow eBooks to be shared between multiple users.

Can I make a backup copy of my eBook in case my computer crashes?

Yes, not only can you, you absolutely should. Since eBooks are one-time downloads to a single computer, creating an archived backup and burning it to removable media such as CD, DVD, or external drive is your responsibility. You may do so and reinstall the eBook on the same computer to which you originally downloaded the digital content in order to restore it.

Can I return an eBook?

We’re sorry, eBooks are not refundable.”

2. W.W.Norton has partnered with to provide 2 ways to read their eBook selections. I could not determine the actual digital format, but it looks like Norton’s eBook reader, doesn’t include text to speech recognition but does include note taking and a search feature.


 “ Norton ’s ebooks are the same as Norton’s paper books. Page for page, you’ll have all the features of traditional textbooks… plus: Accessibility and portability. Read your ebook anywhere you have a computer. More money in your pocket. ebooks cost much less than paper books—usually 50% less!

Online vs. download: which is right for you?


Replicates book pages exactly

Replicates book pages exactly

Embedded links to online animations

Embedded links to online animations







Instant online access (no downloading)

Must be downloaded in parts

Read online only

Readable off-line

Single Page Printing

Fast Multi-Page Printing

Access from any computer connected to the internet (including all highlights and notes)

Copies cemented to individual computers (including all highlights and notes)

Access expires in 1 year

No expiration

Purchase directly from W.W. Norton

Purchase from


About digitaltext

Digital Text Coordinator at Landmark College in Putney, VT; a 2 year college for students who learn differently.
This entry was posted in Assistive Technology, Electronic Texts, Screen Readers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two More Sources for Obtaining Digital College Textbooks: and WW

  1. Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

    I’m Out! 🙂

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