ISBNThe International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is the worldwide standard for identifying exact books published all over the world. For students looking to buy school textbooks, these numbers are very important when they inquire at bookstores or libraries.

Publishing companies who want to release books need to register for an International Standard Book Number or ISBN to identify their books. This helps bookstores, libraries, teachers and students make sure that they are buying and selling the correct books. This is because these numbers are unique not just for every book, but for every edition as well.

Students like you might wonder why you need to understand what these numbers mean and how it really matters to you. Here are some frequently asked questions about the ISBN:

What do those numbers stand for?

The required numbers have increased from 10 to 13 last 2007. This is to allow for more books that can be assigned numbers, and to allow for more information to be represented by them.
These numbers really stand for unique identifiers. The new numbers all start with “978” to represent published books. Then the next digits that follow are country identifiers, which stand for the language the book is published in and the national group number. Afterwards comes the specific number to identify the publisher of the book. The next numbers will stand for the particular title and edition of the book. Rounding up is the check digit, which is used for validation. Just from these series of numbers, a bookstore can already track the language, the publisher and the exact title and edition.

Why do you need them?

If these are numbers mostly used to track textbooks, why do students like you need them? If you have ever tried purchasing or renting your textbook online, the very first thing you are asked to input is the ISBN number of your textbook. This number helps these bookstores store and keep track of inventory, as well as identify which books to sell you. For students, you need these numbers when you get your book list to ensure you will purchase the accurate book.

How do you get the ISBN number of the book?

First of all, publishers will need to register the book to be published with the corresponding agency in their country. They will be given these numbers, a barcode can also be assigned to facilitate selling, and these numbers can be seen in every copy of the book, usually along with the barcode.

If you need the code for a book you need for school, just ask your professor to be 100% sure.

This process is mainly a standardized way to register and monitor whatever book that gets published. By creating this system, you as a student is also benefitting whenever you purchase your school textbook.

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College TextbooksThe solutions to high cost of college textbooks are recommended for college students who want to manage their textbook expenses. Spending too much on college textbooks is impractical because technology offers wide-range of alternatives of educational resources.

Organizations and universities work together to cut down textbook expenses. Publishers collaborate with universities to create models and programs for convenience and efficiency of the educational tools.

Online Textbooks

Universities are adapting online textbooks to manage the students’ expenses and venture with publishers. Online textbooks are accessible and student can read them anytime and anywhere portable devices.

Works of scholars and professors are collated and under the toll. Online textbooks are economical and advantageous. The texts are easily enhanced for downloading and provide exclusive access for college students. UM-CEHD launched their open catalog textbooks last April.


Digital publishing is skyrocketing. E-Books are the next best-sellers in the coming years. Organizations and universities see the potential of e-books as alternatives for student’s resources. Instead of printed textbooks, e-books can be read in PDF by students via portable devices like tablets, mobile phones, laptops, etc. You can buy e-book textbooks at a fraction of college printed textbook.

Two professors from Utah State University and Brigham Young University have published their own PDF versions of college textbooks.

Buy and Sell Textbooks

Buying college textbooks is expensive. There’s nothing wrong spending much on textbooks, but you can also sell them after you finish the curriculum. This will help other students who are in dire need of cheap textbooks for the next semester.

It is best to preserve textbooks for future use. You can sell directly to other students or use Bookgator to connect with other students who might be interested on your textbooks.

You can also post your textbooks online via Amazon, Half and eBay. Make sure you transact with buyers and sellers with high feedback ratings and shipping costs.

Textbook Rentals

Another solution to high cost of college textbooks is textbook rentals. Rent your textbooks at cheaper prices. There are reliable online bookstores that specialize in renting college textbooks. You will save tons of money instead of buying new ones. Use Bookgator, your social bookstore to find our great deals on textbook rentals.

Textbook Buyback

Sell your used textbooks for buybacks. Make sure your books are in good condition, if you’re not going to use those calculus and algebra textbooks, try textbook buyback for cash or credits on our online social bookstore.

Most online stores accept good condition books, no stains, odors or any rips or missing pages. Give value to your books and let help other students save money.

Do you have textbooks you want to trade or sell? Visit our online bookstore and see how it works. It’s easy and simple. You’ll get your books on time and save up to 90%.

[Photo credit: © Getty Images JupiterImage]

Old University of Minnesota House: The Northrop edition

Old University of Minnesota House: The Northrop edition

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is set to offer its catalog of e-textbooks to college students at the University of Minnesota beginning in the 2012 fall semester. The textbook publisher said the pilot program is aimed at making college textbooks more affordable and accessible.

The company also intends to use the program to establish a scalable model that will benefit the rising e-textbook industry. Conventionally, textbooks end up having expensive tag prices because bookstores include inventory and shelf-space charges in pricing. This service-fee model is expected to replace the prevailing shelf-space model.

The program will have most of the publisher’s college textbooks offered as e-books. Professors will still have the option whether to sign up their courses or not. Once they decide to participate, the e-textbooks will automatically be made accessible through the learning management system of the university, wherein students have their own accounts. The materials will also be made available through an online interface.

Lower costs

In general, e-books cost much less than hard copies. McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s standard rates for the virtual books are just about 40% of the hard-copy list price. The publisher said it will further lower that cost in the program.

The amount will automatically be billed to students as part of the course fee. That means college students will not have to worry much about the costs of their textbooks after paying their tuition. If a student decides to drop the course, he will not be charged for the e-book access but only if he formally processes the action on or prior to the deadline set for adding and dropping subjects.

Price and experience alternative

McGraw-Hill Higher Education wants to provide college students with price and experience alternative. The company said it aims to help students succeed through completing their college education. But affordability of textbooks is always a problem.

Attrition rate for general education courses remains high across the US. The textbook publisher thinks this can be because many students lag behind their reading due to inevitable delays in buying their books. Logically, some students fail to catch up after finally getting their copies of textbooks. If e-textbooks are automatically provided, the company added, no student would fall behind the reading requirements in classes.

Greater accessibility

The e-textbooks can be accessed and retrieved through different platforms. McGraw-Hill Higher Education said the materials will eventually be made accessible through various e-text readers to enable students to read even without Internet connection.

The University of Minnesota currently uses Courseload. The e-text reader facilitates online interaction with professors and classmates. It also enables users to send feedbacks to textbook authors. Other e-text readers facilitate assessments, adaptive learning functions, and even social networking applications.

Paper or printed versions of the textbooks will still be made available for those who prefer such materials. It is expected that this e-textbook program will serve as a precedence for other universities and textbook publishers, who intend to work together to make higher education costs more affordable to students.

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texas flagIn May 2012, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) announced its plans to offer a $10,000-degree in response to greater calls to make tertiary education cheaper and more accessible. The new degree will focus more on mathematics and sciences, which are considered as critical to the state’s future.

UTPB followed other schools, which are now offering bachelor’s degree programs costing no more than $10,000. Those include Texas A&M–Commerce, Texas A&M–San Antonio and UNT–Dallas, which has a weekend MBA program that costs $10,000 per student.

Making higher education cheaper and more accessible to students across Texas is a priority of Governor Rick Perry. He thinks doing so is very important in the state’s objective to remain as an economic as well as job creation leader in the entire US. Furthermore, Gov. Perry believes that obtaining a college degree is a key to improving the overall quality of one’s life.

Determined efforts

Gov. Perry in 2009 called for a review of possible cost savings at colleges and universities in the state. In November 2010, the Report on Higher Education Cost Efficiencies was released. It outlined several recommendations that would possibly save about $4.3 billion within four years.

Following that review, the state government passed legislations that aim to help somehow lower costs of higher education. Universities across the state were directed to appropriately fix tuition rates especially for transferring students from a two-year college. There were also policies that intend to make textbooks more affordable and to further lower education costs through elimination of duplication of courses in universities.

There are other measures done at the state legislative level to help make college education more accessible. Developmental education was improved and broadened to enable students to find and choose colleges, majors, and courses that they think are right and appropriate for them.

Aggressive target

In 2000, Texas lagged behind the list of 10 most populated states in terms of proportion of college enrollees. It prompted the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop and implement a strategic plan, dubbed as ‘Closing the Gaps.’ The on-going program aims to challenge higher education institutions across the state to increase the volume of college enrollees by up to 500,000 within 15 years.

Not surprisingly, Closing the Gaps has been well received by taxpayers, policymakers, and students and their families. In 2005, the target was raised. The program now aims to increase the number of college enrollees by up to 630,000 by 2015.

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tree logsEco-conscious individuals are constantly looking for ways to help save the environment. College students who share the same advocacy logically prefer to buy used textbooks instead of new. Doing so can significantly help save the environment in several ways. If more students will be more environmentally conscious to opt to purchase and use second-hand copies of books, they will surely make a difference.

Buying used books is known as an effective and sure way to save money. Students who purchase and use second-hand reference materials rave about having to lower textbook costs by up to 50% or even more. The practice is now known for bringing about a huge environmental impact. Here are some insights.

Saving more trees that need to be cut down

According to estimates by the experts, about 4 million trees are usually cut down every year to print new books. Imagine how many trees can be spared if the total number of textbooks that have to be printed or produced can be lowered. If about half of all the students in your university will opt to buy used textbooks each school year, it will equate to so many trees that may be spared from being cut just to print new copies of books.

If used books will circulate and be continuously useful to as many students in its lifetime, the need to cut trees for printing new copies will be reduced. Used textbooks may still be sold to second-hand bookstores after the semester. This way, the reading materials will continue to be useful and important to as many students as possible.

Reducing pollution brought about by the printing process

Students who buy used textbooks every semester also help trim down the amount of possible pollution that is commonly created in the printing process. Needless to say, the procedure of massive manufacturing of paper and ink pollutes the water, air, and land we live in.

Logically, those who purchase second-hand textbooks help eliminate and lower the impact of printing to the level of environmental pollution. And the decision to buy used textbooks can also somehow translate to lower carbon emission from fuel usage. Used books can be found and bought at local or campus bookstores whereas new textbooks have to be shipped from the publisher’s headquarters to the bookstores. Shipping of course is a process that requires burning of fuel, which in turn contributes to carbon emission to the environment.

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stacks of textbooksWhen you buy anything online like textbooks, the biggest consideration is the reputation and reliability of that site. After all, you want to get the best value for your money and the best buying experience.

Online bookstores have become popular recently for students to buy textbooks online and save money at the same time. In the Web, they can find new or used books for purchase, or books for rent if they do not wish to buy their own copy. eTextbooks are also very popular now that students have eBook readers.

If you are a student wanting to buy textbooks online, start by looking at these great websites that have helped many students like you:

BookGator – this site combines an online bookstore and your favorite social networking site. With features like connecting with other students to trade or sell textbooks directly, and your own online bookstore to track your book purchases, they add the social to your usual online bookstore. BookGator offers selling and buying of new and used textbooks as well.

Half – this site is owned as well by eBay, but specifically a site to sell or find textbooks for rent. For students who want to buy textbooks online but are worried about unreliable sellers, you can use the eBay feedback system to read feedback of former buyers.

eCampus – this site offers students like you with all the options for textbooks – buying used or new books, renting textbooks and even eTextbooks. They have a feature that allows you to compare prices across different options for you. eCampus also buys back used textbooks from students.

Chegg – this site’s niche is renting textbooks. They promote the saving of trees by renting textbooks instead of buying them. If you have old textbooks, you may also sell them so they have more books to rent out. The best thing about Chegg is that they will shoulder the shipping of returning your rented book. They also offer eTextbooks as an alternative to printed textbooks.

Amazon – this is easily a reputable site for buying anything. But they also have a great selection of textbooks, new or used, for students looking to find great deals on textbooks. Selling your textbooks is also easy to do with this site.

Most online shoppers are very wary about where they buy stuff online, and students on a budget are no exception. Textbooks are already expensive enough, and they are definitely on the lookout for the cheapest books overall (considering shipping and other fees) and sites that are the easiest to buy from. Thankfully, there are already sites like the 5 mentioned above that have gained reputations for making it easy for students to buy textbooks online at low prices.

woman-typing-on-laptop-online-textbooksThe elimination of printed college textbooks is inevitable in digital age as online textbooks downloads are becoming popular to college students. Considering the high costs of college textbooks, they look for alternative ways for reliable resources.

Two professors from different universities offered an interesting textbook model to manage the textbook expenses. They offer free downloads of online textbooks on the internet. Larry Walther, a Utah State University professor and chairman of Jon M. Hunstman School of Business’ School of Accountancy and Kenneth Kuttler, a Brigham Young University math teacher provided texts on their personal websites.

Walther and Kuttler’s online textbooks can are available on through Bookboon; a London-based company that offers free downloads inclusive of ads in every few pages. The company contacted these professors after they found the websites and was attracted to the real-time model.

Walther encourages the visitors on his website to ask questions for the student’s learning progress through the electronic setting. The model gives him assurance that students understand the texts. The information he provides is free of charge. Payments are made in cases by case basis.

Kuttler has a pre-calculus textbook online available through World Center of Mathematics for only $10 as PDF download. With a writer’s point of view, revisions for online textbooks are fast. This will benefit students to stay on the current industry standards.

Online textbooks are changing the classroom setting from tedious into robust and practical ways to finish a degree in college.

If you’re looking for cheap textbooks, you can visit Bookgator for deals.

What are your thoughts on free textbooks downloads?

[Photo credit: Jamie Grill Getty Images]


Do we need to make an obituary for printed textbooks? Is this really the time to say good-bye to traditional textbooks as digital books and online textbooks ascend the heights of education?

Non-profit 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM) in collaboration with Akademos announced the launch of a faculty-based textbook search tool allowing the faculty to search and determine the books for students based on faculty peer reviews, student affordability and content quality.

20 Million Minds Foundation supports the creation and sharing of quality textbooks, embracing new technological advances to provide open educational resources and higher-education models. Together with Akademos, a leader in integrated online bookstores recently launched their new adoption tool, a virtual site of abundant resources for professors, teachers and school administrators.

Both organizations are eager to launch this comprehensive online portal for textbooks to combat the high costs for college students. Akademos will power the 20MM search engine and promised to include the Open Academics textbooks catalog – a new initiative by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development for worldwide access of college textbooks.

The 20MM and Akademos partnership will benefit professors and course coordinators in viewing the available resources gathered by the search engine tool. This will also give them the chance to compare textbooks and course materials on the given subjects.

Universities are adapting online textbooks and e-books as course materials, and it is possible that in not so distant future, printed college textbooks and paperback books will be considered “things of the past.”

For cheap online textbooks and deals you can visit our store Tell us what you think about online textbooks.

[Photo credit: Ed Yourdon Creative Commons]


Electronic books and textbooks online involve partnerships and business ventures today. Apparently, the ventures are not limited to business and technology but evidently involve the education sector. McGraw-Hill Education, a leading content, software and serviced-based education company partnered with University of Minnesota Bookstores for distribution of digital content to thousands of college students.

The partnership leverages on the strength of the University’s bookstore, creating a new business model that will aid college students get scalable university-level e-books at affordable and cheaper prices than the traditional college textbooks.

Timely to the UM CEHD launching of online textbook catalog, McGraw-Hill Higher Education has come one step closer to reaching the tipping point of digital publishing as reputable universities and publishers take the challenge of distributing online textbooks and materials to cut the expenses of college printed textbooks.

In this two-year partnership, McGraw-Hill Education will provide its comprehensive catalog of e-books and adaptive education products to the University of Minnesota students at a considerably discount rate. The university’s bookstore that has access to all enrollment information and course materials assigned for each curriculum – it will identify the digital materials each professor requires for each class for students.

The bill will be charged in the student’s account automatically. This will save him from the high cost of printed college textbooks and provide immediate access to the course content via college learning management system on any browser-enabled device.

The partnership reinforces the relationship of McGraw-Hill Education to the university’s bookstore. Embracing this new program deliberately bring advantages to college students using online textbooks and e-books to increase productivity and performance.

This new e-book program will kick-off in the fall 2012 semester.

Have you tried using online textbooks? Before the next semester starts, make sure you have your complete set of required textbooks.

If you’re looking for cheap textbooks online, you can visit for great deals and discount rates.

[Photo credit: Thomas Bynum]

Schools are smartly utilizing technology using online textbooks in classrooms as reliable resources into the curriculum. Online textbooks provide numerous benefits for students. Open content textbooks are offered in universities across the country. The convenience and accessibility they offer are priceless, saving students from high costs of printed textbooks.

This coming September 2012, fewer students will be toting home bulky math textbooks in their backpacks. Kevin Brogioli, Junior High Principal told the ORR Regional District School Committee that in September, students in some math classes will be utilizing online textbooks.

These textbooks online are regularly updated unlike the printed math textbooks or paper backs used for multiple years with outdated content. This is great news for students, and most likely the learning experience will be more interactive and exciting. Online textbooks are becoming popular in education. Seemingly, the usage of textbooks online will be established in the coming years.

Students are already using a selection of online resources, including the ORR Math Website, graphic calculators and SAT practice links. The school is planning to climb the next step in utilization of online textbooks on iPads and tablets in the classroom. The classroom scene is changing. A school like Burlington His School is already training the students with iPads for homework use and daily classroom activities.

The Old Rochester Regional School Committee oversees the ORR Junior High School (grades 7-8) and High School (grades 9-12). The organization is responsible in providing educational services for students living in towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester Massachusetts.

Are you looking for cheap Math online textbooks? For more information, you can visit

[Photo credit: Edukwest]

used textbooksWhen it comes to computing textbooks purchases, parents and students alike are always taken by surprise and dismay when confronted by greatly increased sticker price on essential college books for the semester. Whether you go to an expensive private university or attend a humble community college, the cost of books for a year of college by a long shot top $1,000, more or less.

In reality, getting a college textbook on the cut-rate is quite on the cards just as long as you are well aware of what to look for. Making use of a little tactic is, in fact, the key. For the most part, ditch the idea that you need to purchase new books. Buying used books allocate a savings that fall often around at 25% and its contents are as good as the new ones. Ripped off front covers and dog-eared state may be part of the deal but some manages to really worked up with the book’s appearance.

Every so often, previous student’s notes on the side margin also come in handy and if these setbacks don’t bug you at all, then used books are something that should be taken into account. On-and-off campus bookstores sell second-hand textbooks; however, materials such as these sell out quickly and so, early visit to the bookstore is greatly advised.

Another alternative that you might want to consider are the old edition textbooks which come in a very cheap price. In most instances, page numberings, contents updates and additions are the only differences between new and old. Tables, figures and concepts are altogether the same all the while. One thing to keep in mind though, checking with your professor is necessary, if anything, pairing up with a buddy with the new edition book is a perfect fallback plan… just in case.

These days, in an effort to avert from shelling out tons of hundreds of cash for textbooks, great marketplaces have been established online. There are numerous online bookstores that often offer discounts up to 20% and one of its advantages is that you can actually research and get hold of the best deals there are.

By acquiring the list of your required textbooks in advance, you will have sufficient time to get the book before the term starts. Nevertheless, always bear in mind that you’re buying the correct edition textbook, be aware of the shipping fee and be knowledgeable about the online seller’s return policy. With these few strategies, you are on your way to cutting-back expenses and off to a great start!



Have you read an electronic book (e-book) lately? E-books are trending, and the industry for digital publishing is emergent. Although printed books and textbooks are still well-read, the industry is shifting its gears for e-book market.

An Irish online publication covered an update on the current share of books based on last week’s statistics. Printed books are still purchased, and according to UK Publishers Association’s Statistics Yearbook, there are approximately £489 million ($790 million)  in sales of printed books made in 2011 and £70 million ($113 million) were spent for digital-format novels.

The £70 million sales are part of £92 million ($149 million) of digital books download sales. There is a significant increase in figures while e-book purchases are becoming popular. No wonder Microsoft ventured to the Barnes & Nobles’ Nook for a bigger slice of the pie.

That’s what we get from UK statistics. Today, nearly 6% of books are sold online in the United States. The worth of sales of digital books obviously outpaced the value of the paperbacks for the first time, a year ago. The majority of e-books get sales through Amazon’s platform called Kindle. This accounts on 60% of e-book sales in US.

Amazon acquires real cash from e-book sales in Kindle format. Customers are most likely to purchase dozens of e-books or so, compelled with convenience; they simply purchase online with a few clicks via Amazon website.

This is just the start of e-book market. If you’re a writer or author, you should take advantage on this booming industry..

Do you believe that e-books will be the next best-sellers?

[Photo credit: Tina Phillips]

Arne Jacobsen, St. Catherine's College, Oxford Image by Seier+seier

Arne Jacobsen, St. Catherine's College, Oxford Image by Seier+seier

Buying cheap textbooks can be an effective strategy for better management of student loans. Through keeping book expenses minimal, a student can reduce the amount he borrows from such loans.

Many students are thankful that there are now numerous student loans available to them. One of the reasons they apply for and obtain such loan products is their need to purchase expensively priced reference materials required in their courses. If they could only find and buy cheap textbooks, they might not have to get such loans or at least, they could make the loan amount minimal.

It is common that many students end up seriously indebted upon their graduation. Student loans somehow help in making ends meet during the college years. But after graduation, required payments of such loans take toll and become a burden to the fresh graduates who are just about to start their professional lives and careers.

That is why better management of student loans is imperative. To graduate with less debt, college students are advised to find and purchase cheap textbooks instead whenever they could. Here are some helpful tips that could be of guidance.

Rent books instead

It is a common knowledge that these days, textbook rentals are among the wiser and more reasonable options for students who have limited financial resources. It is estimated that renting books can slash textbook costs of students by as much as 60% or even much more.

The reduced expenses for buying books can mean so much. A student may not have to apply for and obtain a student loan. Or if he still has to obtain one, he may opt to lessen the loan amount or spend most of it on tuition and other important education costs.

Buy used textbooks

Another way to buy cheap textbooks is to purchase used or second-hand books. Just like rentals, used reference materials could possibly lower textbook costs significantly. Again, a student may opt not to get a student loan or to get a smaller student loan amount.

It may also help if a student could just borrow used textbooks from friends or relatives who have taken similar courses in the past. He might get lucky that the same textbooks may still be the ones required and prescribed by his professors.

Overall, finding and buying cheap textbooks would surely be helpful in managing student loans. If costs of books could be significantly reduced and controlled, the need to obtain such loans can be prevented or if not avoided, the loan amount can be held minimal so that students would not end up too indebted after graduation.


Image by Walt Stoneburner

Renting textbooks is a cheaper option for students so long as they follow conditions and avoid additional costs. Look online for the best sites that offer you rental options that work well for your needs.

Textbook prices rise by about 6% every year, according to a study made in 2010. In reality, school textbooks are also a significant expense of every student. After all, no student can go through school without books needed for class.

Start by doing a search on your computer, with your book’s ISBN number, check out the prices on buying brand new and renting textbooks. You will find that in general, rental books are actually half the price of a brand new textbook.

Some students will rationalize that they can buy a new book and resell it at the end of the semester and end up spending less. However, if there are new editions that come out, the value of your book goes down significantly. Also, reselling takes a little bit of effort as well.

Another thing to consider is whether these books are really worth buying. Let’s face it, most of our books are cast aside or left unused after the semester. There are very few, if any, textbooks that are kept for very long, even for reference. After all, when there are new findings, new theories or updates on that field, publishers come out with newer editions of books. This is another reason why some students are put off by buying new books.

There are also professors who do not really use the entire book during the semester. This makes buying the book even more useless, with some professors using other books as well.

Keep these things in mind when you have made up your mind to renting textbooks:

1. Do a thorough search – look for reputable websites. Make sure to look for rental book sites that have conditions and guidelines that work for you. If you can, look for one that offers free shipping to send and for you to return your book. Look for ones that allow you to highlight on books still, but make sure that you are well-versed on what will constitute additional damage fees.

2. Think of how long you will need the book, and look for sites that will allow you to rent for that amount of time. Take note that books returned late might incur you additional fees. If you are unsure, look into whether the sites will allow you to extend the duration of the book. Make sure you return the book on time to avoid incurring more expenses.

Renting textbooks is the cheaper option if you are careful at looking for websites with conditions that work well with what you need. You might also find that renting is much easier than buying new textbooks and selling them after.

Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon of fast-growing digital-book market, investing $605 million on in Barnes & Nobles’ Nook e-reader and college bookstore units over the next five years. Most probably, the venture is up for a competition – a plan to beat Apple-Amazon grip on the tablet industry.

Microsoft gives a lifeline to Barnes & Nobles on e-books, betting into high stakes of combat – the software giant makes a move six months before the launching of the new touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft gets the hook on B&N’s Nook app, which will be included on Windows tablets. This should give them the edge to beat Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

It’s a smart move for Microsoft to invest on digital books. It gives the company direct interest to tap electronic publishing, as online textbooks industry emerges in fast pace. The market moves forward in downloadable college textbooks, shifting the publishing commerce radically towards electronic distribution.

Universities are embracing the accessibility of digital books, providing open content textbooks to manage students’ textbooks expenses. The time is right for Microsoft to be part of this venture, with access on B&N’s college bookstore units operating in 641 stores.

Barnes & Noble’s sales plummet on the traditional books, in addition to heavy investment on Nook’s hub. The company’s shares surge 52% on the news gained $20.75 – the highest closing price in two years.

The tie-up brings the Microsoft technology and engineers to work on B&N’s Nook business. The combination of skills and talents would make the Nook even better. Consumers would be more enticed to access online textbooks and e-books, a possible global reach for the Nook platform to shine through Microsoft Windows 8.

Microsoft Windows software runs in more than 90% of personal computers worldwide. However, the company was left behind due to mobile revolution, as millions of people spend more time computing and browsing using smartphones and tablets – an edge Apple and Google’s Android can brag.

Are you excited to browse your e-books and online textbooks in your upcoming Nook? Share us your thoughts.

[Photo credit: Hot Hardware]

The quest for acquiring low cost school textbooks and open content textbooks is endless for college students. Resourceful students will choose affordable and at the same time reliable college textbooks they need.

The advancement of technology yields to the emergence of online textbooks and open content textbooks. The system is becoming more popular in college campuses with the convenience and efficiency it offers.

However, two questions thwart the open textbook movement on the texts’ legitimacy and availability:

  1. Where can the faculty and students find these resources?
  2. How can the users be sure that these open-content textbooks are reliable?

College students spend an estimated $1,000 on textbook supplies each year. That’s why seven out of ten college students claim they don’t buy required books because they are much expensive. In addition to the daily living expenses (food, transportation, dormitories, etc.), a university introduced inexpensive alternative – online catalog textbook.

The University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development released an online textbook catalog allowing faculty and students from all over the world to access and discuss wide display of online textbooks to help manage the students’ textbook expenses.

UM CEHD officials assembled to answer skeptics on their Open Academics textbook catalog. Basically, the online textbook catalog is an online repository of textbooks with an open license. The students can read the books online for free. Printed version of a textbook is available for order, and it costs a fraction of the usual price of a school textbook.

The online textbook catalog was launched on 23rd of April with 90 books available online. The university provides textbooks for large introductory classes and plans to add small courses in the coming years.

The open content textbook received criticisms from online textbook skeptics, many of them from large companies. With the free digital access and low-cost print options, skeptics questioned the textbooks’ legitimacy and accuracy of texts.

Open content textbooks are questioned in recent years, indicating if these texts have been reviewed by experts or professors in different academic fields.

The online textbook catalog can also be access by the faculty. The university is urging the professors to review the content, make amendments, remixing the content if necessary.

To solve this issue, UM officials decided to follow the example of University of Massachusetts Amherst. They offer $500 to any faculty member who will review the content.

The university officials ask all professors from all campus departments to contribute in reviewing the textbooks and take adoption efforts. They plan to experts involved by partnering with other foundations to conduct the review process.

Dave Ernest, member of university faculty who spearheaded the open textbook program said,

“What we needed was a way to let people know that these are quality books that they can depend on,” In some open textbook programs, “there’s no way of knowing that.”

Each text should meet these four criteria to be accepted:

  • Must be under copyright clause for re-usage and remixing
  • Must be complete
  • Must be available outside the university
  • Must be available in print

Online textbooks on the catalog can be ordered in print with a cost around 20% of traditional textbooks. This resolute the common misconceptions that open textbooks are confined to digital format only.

More than 40 countries have accessed the online textbook catalog website within the first two days of its launching.

CEHD Dean, Jean Quram said,

“The University wants to be a leader in this. “It’s our goal to be seen as a resource to other institutions.”

[Photo credit: Digital Library Concept Adamr]

Business school students looking for school textbooks have various options, but need to review their options to come up with the most cost effective way. After all, having good business sense and creating savings should already be demonstrated by future business leaders.

So you want to go to business school. And once you’ve applied, got in and enrolled, your teacher gives you a list of books you need to have for the semester. Start being a smart student by spending your money on textbooks wisely: what is the best and most cost-effective way to buy your business school textbooks? Do I buy them from the school bookstore, search for used ones or look for my textbooks online? The differences in price vary from saving 25% of the cost to slashing that expense by half. If you want to eventually be a successful business executive, you need to know how to make the right decisions now.

Going to the bookstore. Seems to be the simplest and oldest way to get your textbooks. However, from needing to spend a fortune on new textbooks, you also end up having these textbooks to lug around school for the rest of the semester. You can also search for the textbook online. Online bookstores are becoming more popular now as an easier alternative and getting the books delivered at your doorstep. A downside: besides paying for a brand new book, you need to add shipping and delivery fees for buying your textbook online.

Search for used books. Going from store to store, rummaging through the stacks of books for the one you need. Not only is this close to looking for a needle in a haystack, it is also a lot of work. True, nowadays you can actually also purchase used textbooks online. This is still also cheaper than buying a new textbook. Just make sure that the textbook you purchased online is still in good shape.

Rent a book. For some students, this is the best option. You get the book you need for the semester, without having to actually buy your own. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can also rent your textbook online. Just make sure you keep that book in good shape or else end up paying more.

Get an eTextbook. this option is only really wise if you already have an eBook reader or a laptop. Otherwise, the money you save from buying a new book is actually spent (plus more) on an eBook reader. This is becoming a popular option, and you can easily download your textbook online and transfer easily to your reader or laptop. Business students can check out websites like,, and even directly from school open source pages like MIT’s OpenCourseWare for free books and learning materials for the business student.

It’s never too early to practice what you preach. For an aspiring savvy business executive, knowing where to best get your business textbook online or in your community is already a good practice of good business sense. Make your money go a long way by exploring your options and getting deals on getting your textbook online.

College TextbooksThere are many ways on how to preserve college textbooks. The conservation of textbooks yields perpetual benefits for college students, professors, and for future generations.

Considering the expenses of college education, it includes food, books, and supplies, you can’t help but think of ways on how to save money on college textbooks to finish your academic degree. This will bring joy and fulfillment to your parents.

One of the best things you can do to preserve your college textbooks is PREVENTING DAMAGE.  Textbooks are printed with good craftsmanship of binding. However, if neglected, they lose buyback value.


Remember the time you purchase the first set of college textbooks, the bland smell of new printed books with intricate binding to safeguard every page. They are worth buying regardless of the prices because investing on school textbooks provides convenience, access and productivity in your quest.

Place your college textbooks inside a cover after purchasing to keep them from dust particles and ensure protection for fragile covers with the additional layers. Find college textbooks cover materials made up of brown paper bags. Always use durable material for cover to keep them from scratches, folds and moths.


Damage of college textbooks is cumulative. Diligently cover your college textbooks and consider this second tip. Proper handling will yield high buyback price if you wish to dispose them.

Dust, dirt, and grime bring adverse effects to the condition of your college textbooks. Lay your textbooks on flat surface and avoid coercive opening of pages. Handle them with care and scan the pages with clean hands to avoid dirty finger print marks.

To mark important pages, use bookmarks instead of folding the part of a page on the lower part. When pulling a school textbook out of the shell’s library, push the adjoining books inward and get the book by grabbing the spine instead of pulling it with the head cap or the top of the spine.

Using paper clips will leave rust and crimp on the pages. The use of marking pens to make notations will bleed through the pages obscuring the text.


To preserve your college textbooks, store them snugly either in upright or flat in a custom-made archival box made up of excellent acid-free, alkaline buffered materials.

You can buy this here. Keep your school textbooks in a cool area, away from high humidity to prevent molds and insects. An ideal storage of college textbooks is an air-conditioned space, free of sunlight exposure.

Place your college textbooks in a shelf vertically and pack them neither loosely nor tightly. This will prevent warping of your tall college textbook next to a short algebra textbook. For leather bound college textbooks, keep them on room temperature to avoid cracking and drying out.

It’s easy to preserve college textbooks by following the above-mentioned tips. If you are looking for cheap textbooks, you can browse our bookstore for more details.

[Photo credit: Dirk Ercken]