Monday, January 12, 2015

Preparing and Using E-Books

I love using e-books in our schooling. there are just so many resources out there I would never have in my home library if it weren’t for e-books. Here are some tips from Living Books Curriculum to help you prepare and use your e-books effectively…


As we prepare for our 3-day 50% off sale of all digital books, including our grammar books and teaching guides starting Tuesday, January 13 at 5am...

I thought this is a perfect time to give you some tips about how best to print ebooks.

First, ebooks definitely have a place in your homeschool. I have used them for 15 years. They are no substitute for a library of "real books" but can be quite useful especially when stretching your budget for homeschooling.

1. Get a good, affordable laser printer

I use a HP Laser Jet 1012 (the latest is 1020). This is a very afforable printer that will last a long time. I have had mine almost six years with constant use. I have the cartridges refilled for $35 and they last over 6-8 months. Don't try to print ebooks on your printer that has expensive replacement ink. The end cost is too high. You might be better to find a place that prints them for .08 each (or less) and save yourself the hassle.

2. Get copy paper

Depending on how much you're going to be using ebooks, you may want to consider a case. Office supply stores often have good discounts. Half should be plain white and half three-hole punch white. I explain why below.

3. Three important items to have on hand

Three important things to have on hand to make printing a snap: metal book rings in different sizes, brass fasteners in different lengths (I use 2-inch most often) and three-ring binders. Watch for sales to purchase the binders. It helps quite a bit if they have the plastic front where you can insert a cover page.

4. To bind at home or at the copy center--which one?

Decide how you will use the books.If it is one of our subject guides that will be opened many times, then you would best print a copy and ask your local copy store to bind it (coil is best but comb is acceptable) and laminate the cover (title page). Then you will have a durable book that will last many years.

If it is a work of literature that is likely to be read only a few times then you can print it on three-hole paper and put it in a notebook, make a pretty cover page and slip it in the plastic front. To store the books so I don't have too many binders I use brass fasteners or metal book rings.

5. Storing ebooks

When your printed ebook is in a binder keep it in a bookshelf. You can purchase spine labels from and office supply store and label each book. It makes it soooo easy to find. If your keeping the books bound with rings or fasteners, store them in a clear plastic bin and label the contents so you can see at a glance.

Now that you know how easy and useful  it is to have a ebook library head on over to our ebook sale and load up on teaching guides, history, grammar, stories, poetry and more.

All the best,

Sheila Carroll