It drives me insane ... stick to amazon kindle, google books etc 1/5
Vitalsource is awful.
Both ipad and mac apps constantly freeze and have jerky scrolling.
It takes me forever to make a few highlights on the text. On their website things are a little less terrible, but the resolution is awful and sometimes it is also jerky.
I wonder what the hell I’m gonna do when the license to visualize my books online expires , and I can only use the downloaded copies on my devices. I will be screwed.
I tried to support them by purchasing well above a 1000 dollars in books from them , But now Im deeply sorry. I should have bought whatever I could from Amazon (kindle) , iBooks or google books. At least those companies update their apps most more often, and also have their customers back.
Never had to read my textbook again. 5/5
For me, I cannot spend hours pouring over a textbook and be expected to process anything. This app is great because not only does it read to you, but you can alter how fast and slow it reads to you, you can pause and highlight (with an added note) anytime you want, and you can access everything without flipping through your entire textbook by going to the notebook tab.
Truly a top tier app for students, definitely using this next school year.
Great App, Great Company 5/5
By Corpulent Bass
When my books were trapped in my college dorm room and I was told I couldn’t return to retrieve them due to COVID-19, Bookshelf provided FREE electronic copies of their books to me and millions of other college students in need. The app works great and keeps track of highlights and notes with ease, but the generosity shown during a time of crisis (I would have had to spend HUNDREDS on electronic copies of all my books) will make me a permanent user & customer!
By A forever
This app has blown me away with what it can do. It’s user friendly, let’s you highlight and take note, you can search for specific page numbers, etc. such an awesome experience. So glad my school notified me of its existence.
Worked better before update 1/5
The highlighter function was slow, now it is even slower !
I won't be buying any new books that use this platform.
Fix it please !
Function Gone 1/5
Can no longer highlight or select text in my medical books rendering this app useless to me now. Reinstalled app and downloaded books again and still doesn't work. Forced to use web version now which requires internet connection.
Audio reading? It doesn’t work 1/5
The audio reading, only reads the module number and the bold printing for the heading. It does not read the chapters out loud. I bought this book and had a difficult time reading it. I retain the information better when I hear a Audio book. I have speak on my iPhone. I can’t even click in the app to have it speak to me. I asked Pearson’s my A&P disabilities department to help. They told me to use this app. Big disappointment. Maybe it’s better on my laptop, I’m downloading the book now. Me again. It’s the same on my laptop. It won’t read the full book out loud.
The company is reaching out to the author now. Hopefully it get fix soon. Thank you for responding to my review!
Update on my review-3-20-2020. The app still doesn’t read the full text in the chapters.
Slow app processing and constant delays/pauses while operating. 1/5
I would never use this app again unless I had to, and considering the publisher forces you to access your purchased e-books through Bookshelf, I have no other alternatives.
This app is consistently slow. It’s downright frustrating. I use the app to host two of my e-books, and I have no positive remarks concerning the app’s speed. Although the app looks decent and seems to be fairly user friendly, the horrendously slow app speed ruins the other positive features. After using Adobe previously for all of my other e-books, I was wary to try Bookshelf, but I had no other alternative after purchasing the Elsevier copies through their website. I downloaded each of the e-books to my device in the event I do not have access to WiFi. By downloading to a local source, I would expect the app to actually increase its function speed by not having to instantly sync following each interaction, but this app does not. In order to highlight text, you have to press on a word, pause, wait for the app to temporarily highlight the area, slowly drag and release the text at the area of your choosing, and then wait for a pop-up before selecting ‘highlight’. This series of events has to occur for each line you wish to highlight...and it takes a pressing amount of time to do so. There is no feature to highlight in a continuous fashion, like in Adobe, nor is there a marker function to quickly draw over an area to indirectly ‘highlight’ using a translucent pen. And that’s only if you perfectly press on the word for the app to realize you’re trying to select a specific word, otherwise no action is taken and the app merely thinks you’re attempting to scroll the page. Or you have to perfectly drag and release the selected text in a straight line and hope that the boundaries don’t change from the area you are attempting to select. This extremely slow process is not limited to a single device—this occurs on the phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop versions.
Moreover, after switching back and forth from devices while on WiFi, the highlights do not easily sync across all platforms. So some of the devices may not reflect your most recent highlights at all. This is even after selecting to sync the e-books.
Overall, I am not impressed with this app. I will be opting to find pdf copies of my e-books going forward and will only be using the app if I have to purchase directly from Elsevier based on my instructors’ requests.
I’m very impressed with the app 5/5
By Jay 4.0
The app allows one to read the digital text on one’s device without being connected to the internet. The search function is effective. The highlight feature could be better.
Last Resort 2/5
Often does not accompany texts with the page numbers their paper counterparts have, making it difficult to complete proper citations for writing assignments. Would have refunded my purchase, but scrolling the cursor more than 20% voids that opportunity.
PLEASE HELP CANT SEE MY BOOK 1/5
The app isnt working for me or my classmate. It’s only blank pages.
Very difficult app to review the book
Good job 5/5
Great app to study
never loads 1/5
i have 2 books on here specifically for school and i always have to wait a long period of time for it to download each time i want to use it. what’s the point. why doesn’t it stay the first time you download it. i’ve been using the website since the books never seem to download. fix this problem
Use the website 1/5
I can’t get my books to open. Just use the website it’s better.
What page 3/5
By Live 85
It would be better if there was an indication of what page you are reading.
Wish I could write notes with my stylus. Wish it would hold my page without a bookmark.
Good, But Could Be Better 3/5
It is very useful to have your textbooks in your pocket for whenever you have a spare minute to study. My one complaint is the audio playback that reads the text aloud. Although there are instructions within the app that show you how to select the appropriate voice, the app defaults to the standard iOS, which is not nearly as sophisticated and natural as newer Siri voices. Please fix as this would be a huge win for those of us who listen to our books while on our daily commutes. Thanks!
Great App! 5/5
I absolutely loved this app. When I was scammed out of my book from another company, this app came to the rescue! I was able to download the book I needed that night for about 5 times less! I love that I can highlight in it and make notes. Would love if they made a feature for Apple Pencil users. I would love to write on the actual page instead of having to screen shot the page and send it to my app I use for handwritten notes. Besides that, great app!
Not for profs 1/5
I used to use this app to review examination copies for possible class use. I can’t do that anymore. Although I can add/read a copy in my bookshelf on the website (vitalsource.com), the library on my phone will not add it. (Updating library has no effect.) I have had the same problem on my Mac as well. There’s no way I can recommend this platform to students when it’s so buggy for me!
It lags out frequently.
Good but could improve 4/5
By Love Them Zombies
It doesn’t allow me to highlight more than one word and tells me I’ve reached maximum limit of devices but only shows two devices that are using the app. There are better apps out there for e-textbooks.
By vv bumble
It keeps sliding left and right between chapters when you just want to scroll up to keep reading the same chapter. And when u slide back it, brings you back to the beginning of the chapter you were reading. So 50% of the time you are basically just wasting time sliding back and forth try to find the point at which you lost it.
Stumbled on to this when I bought one of my required texts...now I use it for all of them. Works very well. Love the search, highlight and bookmark abilities.
This app succckksss 3/5
By wet mike
I downloaded the app on my Ipad, and followed the instructions on an email to redeem my textbook via code. Went into the account section and looked for a redeem code button, but there was none. I contact live support through the ipad and even that was buggy. The live chat window would disappear if i clicked off it and I would have to restart with a new representative. Eventually, I was told to redeem the code through my laptop. That worked and the textbook came up on my Ipad. Very annoying that you cannot redeem a textbook through an app. Otherwise, accessing the book after is easy.
Avoid! I lost my highlights! 1/5
I was using this app to evaluate a textbook. I had hundreds of highlights. At some point, the highlights stopped syncing (new ones could come down, but ones on my iPad could not go up). Tech support recommended I leave the app open for 20 minutes. (Which I did and it did not work). Then they told me to re-install the app. This of course wiped out any data and I lost over 200 highlights.
The other bizarre thing is they treat each chapter as if it’s one giant page. So if you accidentally swipe left or right while making a highlight, it goes to the next chapter. Then you try to swipe back to where you just were and it has lost your place.
This is an app provided by the publisher, I can’t understand how they can’t have the true page numbers.
In general, stick with the Kindle app.
German for Reading Knowledge 3/5
Reading examples are in German. We need to hear the words as they should be pronounced in the target language.
Bad bad bad 1/5
By Regitered Independent
Won’t let me use multiple logins for different schools. I pay for content I can’t access. Any app that keeps me from what I paid for is a looser to me. Bought into Apple a few years ago. Aggressive salesmanship is disgusting. No wonder idiots are turning away from capitalism. In a few years we’ll tell you what you are going to get fo your app and it better work like it should or to the gulag for you. Bad bad bad
Awesome App 5/5
Bookshelf is the pre- installed app that Capella University uses.
It has proven invaluable to me in my studies. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, and bookshelf has gotten me through all of my assignments so far. It has a lot of cool and helpful features.
It’s slow to load, and even though my books are downloaded, I usually can’t access them offline.
Poor documentation 1/5
This app has a horrible user interface and virtually no useful user help information.
By John djolevic
Chef life LOL $$$$
Wish they had a feature that let me write on my book with my Apple pen
Difficult to navigate 2/5
Compared to Kindle and Libby ereader apps this is difficult to operate. You can’t tell how much is left in a chapter and it’s hard to page through to find things.
Great place for all those heavy text books! 5/5
I also love the audio feature on there too.
Extremely upset 1/5
I loved this app but when I tried to access my notes and highlights on either my computer or iPad, it would not sync no matter what I did. Yes I was connected to internet on all devices and logged into the same account. Finally I logged out of the account on the device that I originally made the notes and highlights on, and logged back in....everything from notes to highlights are deleted after HOURS and DAYS of work. I’m in tears. I will never use this app again. Iv emailed Vitalsource with no response.
Takes Forever to Load 1/5
This App is completely unusable for mobile. It works alright on the computer, unless you want to print a page. It takes three mins to load the 10 pages, and then when you print, it says “Error. Something went wrong. Please try again later.” I have wasted so much time trying to get to app to work in the way that I want when on a desktop. Disclaimer: I have also experimented with printing one page and that actually works.
Additionally, the notebook feature is absolutely a glorified bookmark organizer. It is not like a traditional notebook where a workspace is provided nor are there pages you can flip to. You can’t even file the bookmarks/highlights underneath each other or title the highlights/notes; so even as an organizer it is unusable because you end up with a endless list of highlights.
On the mobile app, the book has to load every single time the it opens. This process is quicker on the desktop. On the phone, it takes three mins for me to load a page and on the laptop it takes less than 30 secs; this difference is too noticeable and makes me not want to use the mobile app. Also, if I switch between apps and switch back, the app has to refresh the pages again so cross referencing is impossible. I have experimented with both WiFi vs cellular connections and the results are consistent. Furthermore, if I adjust the margins or the page color then the entire app goes blank and I must wait additional time for it to refresh. It feels like if I actually use the app and it’s options, then the app will freeze and that is why I am giving it one star. I should not feel anxiety over making an app freeze by using it the way it was intended to be used.
I like that the app goes to the page I left off on across all my devices. However, I have to wait for it to load. If there is any way for the app to keep the page loaded then it will make my mobile experience better. Also, if there is a way to flip through a page without having to scroll, maybe like a “one-page-scroll” system then it would enhance the mobile experience.
The creators of this app are experimenting with different features, but I just wish the app worked smoothly as an online book. If I did not have to use this for class, I would not have downloaded this app. Right after this review, I am uninstalling the app because it is unusable on a mobile device. I will only use it on a desktop because that is tolerable.
Please fix the highlighting, the scrolling, and the load time. Thank you.
Read aloud isn’t what you think 3/5
That read aloud feature is grating to use, I guess I thought I’d be hearing a human voice but instead it’s Siri, I can’t use it without getting aggravated. It’s cool otherwise.
Horrible, DO NOT BUY ANY BOOKS THAT FORCE YOU TO USE THIS HORRID APP! 1/5
By Extremely Disatisfied Customer
Absolutely Horrible! Bilious! Absolutely worthless, not intuitive. Highlighting features are awkward. Why can’t I use my Apple Pencil to highlight and write notes like every other app?! And why was I forced to use this stupid app anyway? I BOUGHT THE STUPID eBOOK! For $75 I should be able to use whatever app I want!! Hate it. Will never buy again. Will never recommend!
Wish for certain features. 4/5
Will there ever be a feature for iPad where you can use the stylus to actually write notes or summary of paragraph? I used to write in the margins of physical books and draw pics and miss this feature since I transferred to electronic books. Also, I would like to see the fast highlight feature for iPad like the computer app has.
Nice app/lots of features! 3/5
I like all the features in this app but I’ve had a lot of problems with it crashing with just normal use, I’ll just be reading a section without touching anything and it just closes..
It freezes every time I change a song from other apps
Pretty ok 5/5
Just ok..... yes. Nice shortcut from the other book.
Helpful but crashes regularly 3/5
I love this app without carrying around a textbook, but the app crashes on a regular basis.
Great ebook-reader! 5/5
Excellent so far! 😁
Book randomly disappeared. 4/5
By Liz Bate
I like the app, but I’m giving it four stars because while I was reading the app must’ve glitched out because it randomly brought me to the “my library” page and had no books. I went back after closing it out a few times before my book appeared again. I’m not sure what happened.
Almost perfect 5/5
Over all the app is great. I have been able to down textbooks for school. And I can rent them at a lower cost rather than purchasing them outright. The app so far syncs pretty well between devices. However the major flaw I see with the app is you cannot highlight, or make notes. This is a basic feature and one of the primary reasons to download a digital book app on your phone or tablet. The company only gives the option to make notes (notecards) or highlight text on the website on a computer. The whole point in downloading the app on a tablet is so you don’t have to take your laptop with you everywhere. Being able to highlight text on your textbooks is a basic feature that one looks for in a digital book app. It was real let down when I found out I was unable to do so. Whether you are using an Apple Pencil or your finger you should be able to mark on the pages.
Update, the developer reached out regarding the issue I had from my review. Gave instructions on how to address what I needed in the app. I appreciated the feed back on the help. Though done slightly differently than the website version. Indicated to press down on item needed to highlight and the option would come up. I attempted to do so and it has worked. I will continue to use this app.
Cant access books 1/5
Doesnt even register as my books