Audio Textbooks and eTextbooks – A New Way to Study

Textbooks are very much a prerequisite for any kind of learning, high school, college, university or other. They are a very important resource for the purpose of studying and research, they are often very bulky and heavy and awkward to carry around.


Fortunately there are solutions to overcome the problems associated with traditional textbooks, namely digital textbooks. Books in a digital format generally take the form of an eBook (electronic book) or an audiobook. When referencing these types of digital books in a textbook format, they are often referred to as audio textbooks or eTextbooks.

Audio Textbooks

The very great advantage of audio books (audiobooks) is that it allows one to listen to a title rather than read it. For busy students or anyone undertaking any kind of research, this format offers an effective way to save time, particularly whilst commuting. Audio textbooks are available in many popular audio formats which lend themselves to a large variety of devices. Just plug in a set of earbuds, and increase ones productivity by listening your way through a book.

Finding textbooks in the audio textbook format can be challenging, however there are reputable merchants who do carry titles in this format.’s educational area offers tons of options. There are areas for students, K-12 educators, parents & families, professionals, college textbooks on audio and higher education faculty. You can browse through hundreds of textbook audio books titles in every subject.



VangoNotes, a division of Pearson Education (a leading textbook publisher), and Audible Education have partnered to offer study guides in various subjects. These are audio college textbooks study guides which can assist students with overall concepts, practice tests, key terms, and quick review.

Books are available for immediate download. Students can choose to download audio textbooks online for $19.95 or choose individual chapters for $2.99. VangoNotes even offers streaming samples for listeners prior to purchase.

The books are tied to specific textbooks, so users will need to search for their book on the site. These supplementary materials will not take the place of the hardcover textbook. They are meant to offer extra emphasis on the key concepts in each chapter as well as test preparation materials. Browsing the subjects, I noticed that the textbooks are all pictured, making it easier to find the right vangonotes.

Looking for a shortcut through the dry “Audio Textbook” material? SparkNotes are available through Audible as well. Read the summaries of each chapter with explanations of key themes and analysis of content. While it will never be able to convey the magic of To Kill a Mockingbird, SparkNotes can help students sort through the themes, symbols, and characters. This is a very handy test prep tool.


eBooks offer many flexible and desirable features, they may be read on a huge variety of various devices using the free Kindle Reading App for computers, tablets and smart phones as well as the popular Kindle eBook reader. A very popular people eBook format for textbooks is called an eTextbook and may be downloaded from amazon under the category of Amazon eTextbooks. The format has some very helpful and distinct features which assist studying.

X-Ray allows the reader to access definitions, further related content from other resources like YouTube and Wikipedia, all with a single tap!

Highlights allows the reader to highlight a word or sentence using a choice of a few different colors which may then be categorized and saved in notebook and referenced anytime. One may also convert the highlight into a flashcard which may then be stored with amazon and then referenced again in your eTextbook at any time.

Navigate through your chapters and pages with easily by simply accessing the navigation grid by tapping the bottom or top of your devices screen. Pages may be scanned very quickly by just swiping the pages with one’s finger.

The eTextbooks Store allows one to buy or rent discounted titles and carry the entire library of your choice in your digital device without any concern about storage or weight issues traditionally associated with traditional text books. Shopping for titles can be done in complete comfort any time 14/7 from a huge selection of subject material.


Meet the Author


Reading and writing are my passions. I read a lot of paper books as well as listen to audiobooks utilizing playaways from the local library. I listen to most of my audiobooks on my iPod. I read about one book/week and am rarely seen without one in hand. Come along and discuss this article in our friendly community forum.

7 comments… add one

  • Tina Jan 18, 2011, 4:59 am

    I have been looking for audio college textbooks for two terms. I have seen two sites promoting audible but they have nothing in the college textbook forum that is up to date. It seems like a great market to offer an audio book alongside the text I can’t believe it is not being utilized.

  • hatchmo80 Jan 22, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic

  • Sharon Bral Mar 11, 2011, 2:32 am

    I am looking for audio books that accompany a text written book. Primarily I want to utilize this concept with students who have difficulty reading and comprehending the written word but would like to follow along with the written text. does anyone know where something like this maybe available?

  • Peter Mar 11, 2011, 11:01 am

    Hi Sharon, that is a very good question. I have not yet found anything along the lines of what you are describing. I believe some of the learn a new language systems utilize something similar.

    I have heard of educators successfully using the method by purchasing the audio and text versions of the book separately.

  • Darren Nov 12, 2011, 5:04 am


    I am looking for audio books in French with matching text.

    Please advise.


  • Peter Nov 12, 2011, 8:54 am

    Hi Darren, I’m not aware of any French Audio Books with matching text, However I have provided two links below for tiltles that are in French.

    Terre des Hommes CD (5 Audio CDs narrated in French, Unabridged)

    French Audiobooks

  • Dave Dec 28, 2011, 4:53 am

    I’m just looking for the same as others are. audiobooks with text. The school uses read and write gold, unfortunatly my dyslexic son says it is poor quality and spells words that it cannot pronounce.

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