Digital Course Materials

eBooks and access codes are a great way to access your course content digitally. Search for and purchase digital course materials through The Cornell Store and VitalSource.

Digital Course Materials (ebooks/Access Codes) FAQs

Why should I choose digital course materials?
We’re excited that over 60% of textbook titles have digital options this semester. Here are some of the ways you’ll benefit from choosing eBooks:

  • Get your books faster! eBooks are available right after purchase which means you can start studying immediately.
  • Save money! eBooks are up to 60% cheaper than print textbooks.
  • Study better! You can make and share bookmarks and highlights, create notes and flashcards and easily review them for test prep.
  • Lighten your backpack! eBooks have the same content as print and they work 100% offline across multiple devices.
How do I purchase an ebook or digitally delivered access code from The Cornell Store?
Online: all ebooks and access codes that are available digitally will display an ebook price on our online booklist. To purchase, add this product to your Cornell Store online shopping cart. When you complete your checkout any ebooks or digital access codes that you purchased will be delivered with a redemption code via email. To redeem: visit and the product will then appear in your VitalSource account.

Can I use CornellCard to purchase ebooks and digital access codes from The Cornell Store?
Yes, if you buy them from The Cornell Store. If you purchase an ebook directly from our affiliate VitalSource you will not be able to use your CornellCard.

How do we read ebooks purchased from The Cornell Store?
Ebooks that are bought through The Cornell Store are used on the VitalSource Bookshelf.
How are the prices for ebooks and Access Cards determined?
Ebook and access code prices are set by the publisher of the product. The Cornell Store has no control over the price of an ebook or access code.

What type of devices can I use for an ebook purchased from The Cornell Store?
The Cornell Store ereader partner VitalSource follows a “Bring Your Own Device” model. Their technology is a HTML5 browser-based ereader; meaning that students can access their materials on any internet-enabled device including tablets, smartphones, desktops, and laptops. Offline access is available, but no downloads are required.

For how long is my ebook valid?
Ebooks sold at The Cornell Store are valid for the duration of days listed (30, 60, 90, 180, 365, 5 years or lifetime).

What is the difference between an ebook and an access code?
Ebooks are the digital version of a book publication. Access codes can be many things including but not limited to: combination of an ebook and software, homework management software, publisher software, etc. Many courses use access codes; many times the access code and software include access to an ebook. In this case, these ebooks will be read through a different ereader than VitalSource. Access codes vary greatly in what they offer; please check with the professor of your course to understand exactly what you will receive with a specific access code.