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1. How Do I Access My eBooks After Purchase?

After completing your eBook rental or purchase on Routledge.com, you will receive a confirmation email with an access code that gives you admission to your eBook via VitalSource's Bookshelf. You'll then create an account in the Bookshelf app

Once you've logged in, click on the Tools menu near the top right of the screen and select Redeem Codes. Next, enter the access code from your confirmation email and click Redeem. The book will now be available to read.

For more information on setting up a Bookshelf account, reference the step-by-step guide on our eBooks page.

2. Can I Access My eBooks on Any Device?

Your materials will be available via Bookshelf, a free eBooks reader. Bookshelf can be accessed via an internet browser or a downloaded app on most devices. To check if your device is compatible with Bookshelf, click here

3. Are Routledge.com eBooks Accessible?

Routledge.com eBooks include many accessibility features such as text-to-speech (read aloud) and the ability to set reader preferences, including font size, font color, and page color. 

We can provide larger quantities of our books and journals in an accessible, electronic format for students or customers with a visual impairment or print disability through our Alternate Format Request Program. Routledge.com provides accessible content for our eBook products in PDF, Word, and ePub formats to make reading just as accessible for people with a visual impairment or print disability as it is for people without. 

Though our eBooks are primarily produced in ePub, we can provide PDF formats if necessary. ePubs are reflowable and enable you to change the number of words and sentences on a page as you zoom in and out, along with a host of additional accessibility features. While ePub is the most recommended format for accessibility, PDF is a fixed format that allows you to zoom in and out without changing the page orientation. 


You can learn more about our accessibility initiatives and eBook content plans on our ASPIRE-accredited Accessibility Statement. If a Routledge.com eBook doesn’t meet your accessibility requirements, please contact our Academic VIP-Requests team at [email protected].

4. Who Is Vitalsource, and What Is the Bookshelf App?

VitalSource is one of many academic technology providers we partner with to deliver our books to global universities and book shops. Thanks to VitalSource and the Bookshelf app, we can offer our readers an extensive list of eBooks through Routledge.com. Bookshelf is a free eBook reader that provides a range of features and tools to help make your reading experience more enjoyable.

5. How Do I Create a New Account on Bookshelf?

To create a new account on Bookshelf, go to bookshelf.vitalsource.com, provide your name and email address, and set up a password. Once you confirm that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, click Create.

6. Where Do I Find My Bookshelf Redemption Code?

Your Bookshelf redemption code will be sent to you in a confirmation email after purchasing from Routlege.com. The redemption code will appear in the email underneath the title of your book and will be a twenty-digit alphanumeric code.

7. How Do I Redeem a VitalSource Code?

Create a new account and sign into Bookshelf Online at https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com. Next, click on Tools, then Redeem Codes in the menu icon at the top of the page. Type your redemption code in the code box and click Redeem. Please allow a few minutes for your library to refresh. 

Note: If you are signing in with an iOS device, you must redeem the code through Bookshelf Online through your browser, before accessing it in the app.

8. Why Can’t I Access My eBook?

If you cannot access your eBook on Bookshelf, please check that you have entered the correct redemption code. If you are still having trouble after confirming your code is correct, please contact our customer service team at [email protected].

10. Can I Download My eBook to Read it Offline?

Yes, users who download the Bookshelf app on their devices can read their eBooks offline.

11. How Long Will My eBook Be Available?

Routledge.com provides eBooks via VitalSource, which offers lifetime access to your eBook. Beginning June 15th, 2021, books with a perpetual eBook license will have five years of online access. During this time, you will have unlimited access to your book through Bookshelf online. However, this may change after the online perpetual license has expired. Any direct downloads you’ve made throughout that time to your device via the Bookshelf app will still be available, even after the online perpetual license has expired. For more information on lifetime access, please click here.

12. How Do I Renew my eBook Rental?

Once your eBook's rental period expires, the book will no longer be available online or within your Bookshelf app. To renew your eBook rental, log into your Routledge account and purchase the book again for another 6 or 12 months.

13. Can I Buy Multiple Access Codes for the Same eBook Title?

No, eBooks are sold as one single copy on our site. This is because access codes are sent to the email address used to purchase the book, and only one access code can be sent per eBook purchased. If you would like to make a bulk order for a particular eBook, please get in touch with your regional Routledge sales team here.

14. What is an ePUB?

An ePub is an eBook file format, also known as an electronic publication. ePub is supported by most eBook readers, making it the preferred eBook format for most of our titles. Most Routledge.com books are available in reflowable formats, meaning you can resize the text to suit your needs and the device you use to access your eBooks. You can also highlight text and make notes on most eBook readers.

Routledge is committed to providing the best reading experience for users by creating ePub files developed with accessibility in mind.

15. What Are the Benefits of ePub?

ePub is an excellent format for accessibility, convenience, and on-the-go reading. 

Adaptable & Accessible

Reflowable ePub documents allow you to change the font size, allowing readers to enlarge the text on any device. In addition, ePub can support text-to-speech functionality, allowing users to read and listen simultaneously to assist those with visual impairments or print disabilities. 

Improved Readability

ePub enables the content to reshape according to the device you read it on. Unlike PDF, which is a static file format, the reflowable nature of ePub adapts itself to different displays and screen sizes.

Better Navigation

ePub navigation is intuitive and easy to use; its features include spine navigation, table of contents, in-text links, and direct page access.

Engagement & Interactivity

ePub allows for the integration of interactive features, such as video and quizzes. You can find Routledge content that includes these features in our eBook+ program. 

Download & Delivery

Routledge eBooks are delivered via VitalSource's Bookshelf app, available on Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, and Chromebook. The application allows you to download your book to your device, giving you lifetime access to books you have purchased outright. You can also rent books for a cheaper alternative, but your offline access will be limited to the rental period.

16. What is a PDF?

PDF is a fixed file format that shows the eBook's content precisely as it appears in print. We use this format for multi-volume titles where an ePub file would be too large, or the reflowable format is unsuitable for pedagogic content. Some older titles are currently only available in this format. In the instances we offer PDF versions of our books, they are made available for you to access via Vital Source Bookshelf.

17. How Do I Request a Fixed Format eBook (PDF)?

If the reflowable format of your eBook is not working or is compromising the quality of your book, please contact our team at [email protected].

18. Can I Be Sent a PDF Version of My eBook Via Email?

We do not email PDFs to customers as this method of delivering eBooks does not protect the author’s material from piracy. PDF files sent outside of an eBook reader can be shared, copied, and stored, which means they do not protect the work or intellectual property of our expert authors, contributors, editors, and reviewers. We value the work our community produces and only offer eBooks on Routledge.com via VitalSource’s Bookshelf eReader.

19. How Do I Create a Citation in an e-textbook in Bookshelf?

Within Bookshelf, you will find a citation feature in the table of contents. Select the More Options icon (…) at the top right of the screen. Unfortunately, some older titles don’t show page numbers to enable you to complete a citation correctly. If your book is missing page numbers, please contact our team, who can help at [email protected].

20. What Do I Do if the Special Characters in My eBook Don’t Look Right?

We use MathML to render equations in our ePub files, but if the math or other content does not look as you would expect, please get in touch with our team, who can help at [email protected].