Best Apps For Textbooks

Textbooks are expensive. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best apps for textbooks so you can save money on your course materials.

Textbook prices are rising, and more students than ever are resorting to buying used books or renting them instead of paying full price. But there are still ways to save money when it comes to textbooks, and this list will help you find some great apps that can help with that!

10 Top Free eBook Apps to Get millions of books - FreeVideoLectures

Best Apps For Textbooks

The learning motto that I believe best captures the ethos of 21st century education is learning on the go or what is known as mobile learning. Apps have radically transformed the way we learn and, more importantly, provided us with learning opportunities that transcend geographical and temporal boundaries.

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Here is an example from my personal experience. Since I started using Audible, I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and just last year alone (2021) I listened to a total of 149 audiobooks. I listened to these materials during times when access to books is normally impossible such as during my commute drive, running, or working out in gym. In other words, in a pre-audiobook era this type of on the go learning was definitely not possible.

textbook apps

Like Audible, there are tons of educational apps that enable our students and kids to learn anywhere, anytime. The collection below features some of the best textbook apps I curated specifically for students. Using these textbook apps, students will be able to rent or buy online textbooks for a cheaper price, download and access reading materials on the go, annotate textbooks and study guides, write notes and share them with peers and collaborators, sync reading positions across multiple devices, and many more.

  1. Chegg
    Chegg, the popular homework helper, offers students the possibility to rent or buy a wide variety of textbooks and study guides. Chegg’ s e-reader further enables them to access their textbooks anywhere they go provided they have Internet connection. Other features provided by the app include the ability to add highlights, take notes and access these notes across multiple devices, integrated search to look for textbooks by keywords or chapter titles, and many more.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free / Age: 4+

  1. Booksmart
    Another good textbook app for students. Booksmart allows students to buy and sell textbooks. They can also use it to rent e-textbooks from various online sources. The way Booksmart works is simple and easy. Students install the app and log in. They then conduct quick search for textbooks by title, author, ISBN or by scanning a barcode. Besides buying or renting, students can also sell their own used textbooks to other students.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free / Age: 4+

  1. Pearson eText
    Pearson eText is a textbook app that is especially helpful for students who use a Pearson eText in their studies. The app is simple to use and offers various useful features that facilitate studying on the go. Students can add highlights, save bookmarks, and write notes. Best of all, Pearson eText works anywhere without the need for Internet connection.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free / Age: 4+

  1. Bookshelf
    If you use VitalSource, Bookshelf is definitely a good textbook app to install. It enables students to rent textbooks for a cheaper price and download for easy access anywhere anytime. The app also offers various features to enhance students study including the ability to create flashcards with text and image to consolidate learned information, add highlights and notes, make reading easier by customizing font size and background colour, use Read Aloud to listen to books on the go, sync your reading position across different devices, and many more.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free / Age: 4+

  1. Quizlet
    Quizlet enhances students study through the power of flashcards. Students can design their own flashcard sets or choose from existing ones. Quizlet also offers detailed step by step textbook solutions and tutorials covering topics across various content areas and disciplines (e.g., math, history, science, coding, and more). Quizlet embeds numerous study modes with each mode targeting a specific learning skill. To learn more about this app, read Quizlet guide for teachers and students.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free plus in-app purchases / Age: 4+

  1. OpenStax
    OpenStax offers access to a wide variety of textbooks, study guides, and educational video tutorials. Textbooks are arranged into various sections and include interactive features that enable students to easily navigate different parts. The video section include step by step tutorials that help students further improve their understanding of key concepts. Content areas covered by OpenStax include math, biology, financial accounting, physics, chemistry, sociology, economics, history, psychology, business, among others.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free plus in-app purchases / Age: 4+

  1. Google Play Books
    Google Play Books is your one-stop store for textbooks, books, and audiobooks. Some of the key features it offers include: preview free samples before you make your purchase, take notes that are instantly synced to your Google Drive, share notes with collaborators and peers, reading position synced across different devices including CarPlay, helpful Siri Shortcuts, and many more. (Similar apps include Apple Books and Amazon Kindle).

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch / Price: Free / Age: 4+

best apps for selling textbooks

Moving-day downsizing. Overflowing bookshelves. Duplicate titles. There are so many reasons you might find yourself looking to sell off some books from your personal library. But once you’ve got that “to sell” stack ready, where do you go from there? The options are many, whether you want to take them to your favorite used bookstore or sell them online.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider getting started with one of the quickest, most convenient ways to get the task done: an app especially designed for this very task. Whether your priority is making a quick and straightforward sale, receiving the most money possible, or having the flexibility and possibilities of creating your own shop, you’ll find what you’re looking for with one of these five used bookselling apps.


Much like taking your used books into a used bookstore, these apps are designed to help you sell your books with minimal effort. Because the companies behind these apps buy directly from you, you must be willing to accept the price offered. But the benefit is that you’re guaranteed quick and easy payment as soon as the books are received.

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Everything about using Ziffit is simple. When you have a book to sell, simply scan its barcode with the app’s built-in scanner. Ziffit immediately gives you its buying price, then automatically loads the title into your selling cart. Once you’ve selected how you want to receive payment (bank transfer or PayPal), you package your books, drop them off at any USPS access point or FedEx location, and get paid within days of when Ziffit receives the shipment.

Ziffit App Screen, with a value posted in orange above three books scanned in to sell.
Ziffit automatically adds your books to your cart.

Much like Ziffit, the Sell Back Your Book app requires minimal work on your part. Scan the book’s barcode, get an immediate offer, and let the app automatically collect your books into a cart. Package your books with the provided FedEx label, drop them off, and receive money in your PayPal account within three days of when the package arrives. app screen with a price offered for scanned in books.’s buyback cart

Wondering which of the two previous apps will give you the best price? This app will let you know. BookScouter is known for buying and selling textbooks, but you can use it to sell other used books, too. BookScouter doesn’t actually buy your book directly, but serves as a comparison tool for buyers that will. Once you scan a barcode, the app will list your options, so you can sell each of your books at the best price. The BookScouter app will even take you directly to your chosen seller’s site when you’re ready to complete the transaction.

BookScouter App Screen with a listing of places that will buy The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley for the best price.
BookScouter’s comparison tool

If you’d rather sell your books on your own terms, then one of the following apps that serve as online marketplaces may be a better fit. Because you’ll be selling directly to consumers, you’ll be able to set your own price, promote the listing yourself, and show the book’s value through photos and descriptions. Plus, you’ll meet other buyers and sellers, and — if it’s something you’re interested in — you can even build and maintain your own shop or brand.

PangoBooks calls itself “the social marketplace for books,” where you can buy or sell books and make some like-minded friends in the process. First, you’ll set up your own account, which lets you find and follow people you find interesting, see what they’re selling, and interact further with them.

When you’re ready to sell, the app prompts you through each step. Start by taking a photo of the book cover and scanning the barcode:

Screen shot from inside PangoBooks app of the cover for The Awkward Black Man.
You’ll then be asked to classify your book by genre, format, condition, etc. Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll have a chance to share your thoughts on the book and add a few relevant hashtags — PangoBooks provides some suggestions for popular ones:

Pango Books App Classification Screen
Next, the app recommends how to price your book and automatically calculates your earnings after selling fees:

Pango Books pricing screen
Once your book is listed, you can share what you’re selling with your friends on the app. And when your book is sold, a shipping label is automatically created for you, so you can drop off your packaged book at any USPS blue box. Three days after delivery, you’ll get paid through your bank or PayPal account.

While it isn’t an app specifically designed to sell books, Depop — which focuses on fashion and style — is a highly rated buying/selling app that has a large selection of used books, too. Not only does it let you maximize your earnings if you don’t mind waiting for the right buyer, but it provides opportunities to take beautiful, creative photos that help you create your own brand and sell other things, too.

Because of the nature of the app, you’ll have to spend a little more time and effort in setting up your account, which will ultimately become your shop. You’ll have the chance to pick a photo or logo and a shop description:

Depop App Profile Setup Screen
Depop App shop description screen
Once you’re set up and ready to sell, you can take up to four photos, provide a description with hashtags, and establish your price. When your book sells, you get paid even before you have to ship — and the shipping method is totally up to you.

Whether you use just one or a combination of these apps, your phone is all you need to start giving your books new homes. Happy bookselling!


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