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How can I read an ebook online?

There are several ways to read ebooks online -- the methods differ from platform to platform. This page will offer an overview of online reading with information about three major ebook platforms.  Each platform provides an option to save ebooks to an online account for later access.

We highly recommend that you read entire books online, and then save them for further reading. Both Ebook Central and EBSCO require additional software for offline reading of entire books.

If you will be reading just a few pages or a chapter, then downloading (as PDF) and reading offline is quite simple.

How are ebooks read online in different collections?

Methods for reading books and chapters from ebooks online differ by the platform (or database):


Read a chapter?

Account needed to read a chapter?

Read entire book?

Account needed to read entire ebook?

Save book for later?

Ebook Central

as .PDF 

no, but must be signed in via HWS

yes (some limits)

no, but must be signed in via HWS 

yes  (to Bookshelf)


as .PDF

no, but must be signed in via HWS

yes (but only chapter by chapter)

no, but must be signed in via HWS

yes (to Workspace)

EBSCO Ebooks

as .PDF (some limits)

yes (free EBSCO account)

yes (limits)

yes (free EBSCO account) yes (to Folder)

Online Reading in Ebook Central


Online Reading in JSTOR


Online Reading in EBSCO Ebooks