eTextbooks offer cheaper alternative for pricey text books


A new and cheaper alternative to buying textbooks is now available. CourseSmart, an online catalogue, offers students the opportunity to buy textbooks viewable on laptops, iPads, iPhones, and other technologies at as low as 40% of the price of the hard copy texts.

With over 90% of textbooks currently in use available online, CourseSmart is the world’s largest provider of digital course books.

“iPads and new tech gadgets were big gifts this holiday season. According to a recent Mashable poll, iPads dominated holiday gifts in 2010,” says Nicole Bassaleh, assistant account executive at AMP Agency. “Digital course materials are expected to gain in popularity amongst smart, savvy, time-conscientious students who want to do well and do more in 2011.”

Students don’t have to wait in line or search through bookstores for cheaper deals; eTextbooks are always available, as CourseSmart offers all its textbooks all the time.

Free apps are also offered for iPhone and iPad users who wish to use these to view their digital course materials.

Purchasing eTextbooks through CourseSmart is as easy as searching for the title of the required text and choosing to either download or view it online. Downloading the eText requires downloading the CourseSmart reader software that allows you to view the text. Once the software and eText are downloaded, you’re ready to read.

Viewing eTexts online allows for the texts to be read immediately. After creating a CourseSmart account, the texts are added to “My Bookshelf” and are available anytime.

CourseSmart eTexts can be highlighted, written on, copied and pasted, printed, etc. The texts have the same format and pagination as the hard copy text.

eTextbooks can be refunded within 14 days of purchase if 20 pages or less have been viewed.

CourseSmart offers eTexts ranging from agriculture to criminal justice to economics to medicine to speech pathology.

“Digital books are a game-changer for college students. The ‘old school’ options for course materials, including used and rental textbooks, with a wide range of pricing, unreliable availability, uncertainty with bookstore buyback, and potentially long wait times or associated shipping costs, are not the only options for tech- and budget-savvy students at colleges and universities across the country,” says Bassaleh.

Students can browse the online catalogue at