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Social Sciences: Reading ebooks

Subject guide for social science courses: criminology / sociology

Reading ebooks

Library books will be available to you in a mixture of formats. Many will be available in both print (physical) and electronic formats. Some people are more comfortable reading in print, however there are limited copies available and you may need to reserve one. Electronic books are often available with an unlimited license meaning unlimited numbers of students can access them.

Screenshot of Bluefire readerRead online or download

All our ebooks can be read online, but many can also be downloaded; see our guide on How to download e-books to e-readers. Many can be downloaded in their entirety (for a time limited period) but with some you can only download a chapter.

Bluefire reader or Adobe Digital Editions

For many books you will need Bluefire reader or Adobe Digital Editions (and an Adobe account) to read the books you download.

Reading online or via Bluefire reader may offer you various options such as

  • Bookmarking pages
  • Making notes
  • Highlighting text

You can also make use of screen reading software to turn the written word into speech.

Finding ebooks

Library catalogue

All our ebooks are listed on the library catalogue.

eBook collections

There are additional benefits of using specific e-book collections, which vary between platforms. An example is:

  • Full text searching 

Search within the text of all the e-books held in a particular collection for a subject or keyword. This is an efficient way to find relevant information on a particular topic.

Social theory

Database containing many books/book sections on social theory (as well as other material)

Reading lists

Ebooks will be linked to via online reading lists

Print V's Electronic

Ebook central - an example collection