Reduce Waste By Using eBooks

Michelle Rasmussen

By: Michelle Rasmussen

A couple years ago, I moved back to my home town and found that in the 20+ years that I had been gone, very little had changed. I grew up in a small coal mining town where people resist change. Their resistance to change is part of the charm that brought me home. 

I left home in the early 1990’s to join the Air Force. In doing so, I was immediately assigned to be the recycling guru for my flight (team of engineers). Everywhere that I have lived since then has provided both a recycling container and a garbage container that the city or county picked up on a weekly basis. When I moved home and found that the city did not provide recycling containers, I immediately asked where I could take my recycling. I was shocked to learn that there is nowhere to take my recycling without driving two or more hours. As my recycling containers fill-up in my yard, waiting for me to make the long drive to a recycling center, I am reminded just how important it is to reduce how much waste we create.

One way that I do that is by taking advantage of eBooks. I have every book that ASCENT publishes on my both my computer and my tablet. I love that I can take notes in an ebook and those same notes show up on both my devices. I also love that I always have those eBooks with me without having to carry a ton of heavy books. Additionally, instructors and CAD managers who use my books to teach from can share notes with their student and me. This helps me track errors/issues/suggestions in the books I write between releases. I am human after all and have been known to make a mistake from time to time.

Here is how it works:

Highlight Text and Create Notes in VitalSource Bookshelf

  1. In VitalSource Bookshelf, click the Create New Highlighter button, as shown in the image below (1).
  2. Right-click on the new highlighter and select Rename, as shown in the image below (2). Type a name that will mean something to you or the people with whom you are sharing notes.
  3. Click All Titles to see all the books available in your account. Double-click any book to open it, as shown in the image below (3).EBookHighlights
  4. In the book, click and drag your mouse over the text you want to highlight, as shown in the image below (4).
  5. In the toolbar at the top, select the highlighter you wish to use from the dropdown, as shown in the image below (5).
  6. Click the Make Highlight button if you just want to draw attention to the text. Click the Make Note button if you would like to add a comment to the highlighted text, as shown in the image below (6).
  7. If you have chosen to make a note, in the Notes window that appears, type the text to include in the note and click the X in the top right corner to close the note window. Notes are saved automatically and can be synced to your other devices.  EBookNotes


Share Notes in VitalSource Bookshelf

  1. In VitalSource Bookshelf, select the highlighter(s) you used to add notes to the book(s), as shown in the image below (1).
  2. Below the list of books, make sure Share this highlighter with: is selected and select Friends Only, as shown in the image below (2).
  3. To the right of that, click Edit Friends, as shown in the image below (3).
  4. Add anyone's name you wish and their email to the list of friends and click OK. 
  5. Let them know when this is done and what email your VitalSource account is tied to, so they can subscribe to you.  EBookSharing

 I hope you found these tools helpful for reducing the amount of waste you create while keeping communication and learning alive. To order your next eBook from ASCENT, go to and select eBook under the software you are shopping for.

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