Skip to Main Content

Electronic Books

ebook overview site

Accessing Ebooks

Students, Faculty, or Staff Members

If you're affiliated with Illinois State University, your ULID and password will grant you access to any ebook owned by the library.  At this time, due to the licensing agreements offered by publishers, we are unable to offer access to most ebooks to those who are not affiliated with Illinois State University.

Accessing Ebooks

All ebooks found through our catalog can be viewed online in a web browser.  Some platforms also allow you to download ebooks for offline use.  The instructions for doing so, and the loan period for which the book will be accessible, vary by platform and publisher.  More details can be found in the platform-specific pages on the left side of this page.

Saving Chapters as PDFs

Some platforms will allow you to download and save an individual chapter as a PDF file.  The tools for doing so vary by platform.  For further instructions, see the platform-specific pages on the left.

Reading Ebooks on Phones or Tablets

There are several apps available for viewing ebooks on smart devices.  Some are platform-specific, while others work for multiple kinds of ebooks.  These apps can be found in the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and other Android App Stores.  

Reading Ebooks on Kindles

Kindles are capable of displaying PDF ebooks, but not EPUB ebooks.  Amazon uses their own proprietary ebook formats (.mobi or .azw) that are incompatible with most other ereaders and apps.  If you want to send a PDF file to your Kindle, it will take a few steps:


1.  Go to, sign in, and go to Manage your Content and Devices.

2. Select the "Preferences" tab at the top of the screen.

3.  Scroll down, and select "Personal Document Settings."  This page will list individual email addresses for each Kindle you own, as well as for each device you have a Kindle app installed on.

4.  Below that, you will find an "Approved Personal Document E-mail List."  Add your own email address to this list if it isn't there already.

Sending a PDF to your Kindle or Kindle App

1.  Start a new email from the email address on Amazon's "Approved Personal Document E-mail List."

2.  Attach the PDF you want to send, but leave the contents and subject line of the email blank.

3.  Send the email, making sure your Kindle is connected to WiFi.

4.  Check your email for a verification email.  You may need to confirm that you want something to be sent to your Kindle.

5. The PDF should arrive on your Kindle for you to read.  You may need to synchronize your Kindle or Kindle App.