How do I Download a Textbook?

Marco Sumayao

In order to download a textbook, a user will need a reliable Internet connection, a computer with enough hard drive space to store the textbook, and software that can read the desired book's file format. The user should then locate a website that has the textbook available and follow the site's instructions for downloading. Some websites require users to pay a fee in order to legally download a textbook. Once the download has completed, the user has full access to the contents of the book and future updates, depending on the publisher.

Most textbooks are large files, so a reliable internet connection is required when downloading them.
Most textbooks are large files, so a reliable internet connection is required when downloading them.

Many students choose to download a textbook rather than buy one. Other than being a more affordable option, downloading reading materials also greatly reduces the weight of a school bag, as multiple books can be contained in a single reader. You can begin to download a textbook by first locating an electronic version of your required readings. In some cases, teachers provide download links for their students; in others, the books are simply emailed to each student. If this is not the case for you, electronic textbooks are easily found via Internet search engines and various student-driven book download websites.

File format is a major consideration when you choose to download a textbook. A digital textbook can come in several formats, such as text file (.txt) and portable document format (.pdf). In addition, the files themselves might be contained in compression formats like zip file (.zip) and Roshal archive (.rar) in order to make download speeds faster. Before you download a textbook, you should always check if you have software that can read the desired format. If an appropriate reading program isn't immediately available, you can choose to download one of many free programs available on the Internet. You can also choose to download software that converts digital textbook files into formats that your current software can process.

Once you've located your textbook and have determined that it's in a readable format, all you need to do is follow the instructions listed on the website. Some websites will require you to register an account, while others will charge a fee for the download. If you have an e-book reader, or own a device with a dedicated software store, you can simply log on to the store and make your purchase there. Transactions can be made via credit card or through one of many different online money transfer services. Once you've completed all the steps, you will receive your digital textbook in short time, depending on download speeds.

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Discussion Comments


I think that downloading your college textbooks would be a great way to go. When I was in college I remember lugging my heavy back pack all across campus. There were many days that I had to cover most of the campus to get to all of my classes.

It would have been great to have the advantage of online books so it wouldn't be so heavy carrying everything around with you. A small lap top weighs much less than books for 4-5 classes.


Most of the textbooks I have downloaded have been in zip file format. If you are using a recent version of Windows, this is very easy to extract and open. Because the zipped files are compressed, it doesn't take as long to download.

It is very easy and economical to download textbooks online. Once I began receiving my books this way, I don't ever buy a traditional book unless it is not available digitally.

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