As an undergrad, I went to a public university and, like most students, heavily relied on textbooks to complete and be successful in my studies. Early in my academic career, I found VitalSource as a source for my textbooks – in a digital format – and my study habits were forever changed.
I am now in my master’s program and I use VitalSource Bookshelf every day. I log in to VitalSource on my Mac, open OneNote, put each program side-by-side on my screen and use the integration between the two programs to take notes on the chapter at hand.
There are so many good things about Bookshelf, but there are two main features that I love the most.
First, I love that I can download my textbook for offline reading. If I am in a coffee shop without wifi or on the road and need to get homework done, I can use the downloaded version and get what I need without having to worry about internet access.
The second feature that I really like is the ability to have the app on my computer, phone and tablet. As a working graduate student, my life gets busy. I can forget my laptop or be in places where using a larger device isn’t possible, I can use my phone or tablet to read, again without an internet connection. Then when I switch back to my laptop, all my notes and highlights are there, in the app or online.
The Bookshelf interface is so easy to use, too; I can navigate between the chapters and within the chapters with ease. I can copy a quote from a text in Bookshelf and then when I paste it into a paper, the correct citation comes with it. I love that! It saves so much time. I hate having to go to a citation website to get the correct version of my citation. Although I have not used it very much, there is a voice-to-speech tool that will read the chapter to you. I use this feature when I read the same sentence over and over and still cannot seem to comprehend the topic.
The digital format is very important to my mobile lifestyle. Using Bookshelf, I can ditch the heavy book bag. My back doesn’t hurt from carrying around a load of bulky books and I always have them at hand. Using VitalSource has changed the way I study and I would definitely recommend to any college student.