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E-Books Guide

Introduction to E-Books

London Business School library offers e-books from a range of different publishers and platforms. This guide provides information on how to access our e-book collection.

  • The library purchases books in electronic format whenever possible
  • Our e-books are available to all current staff and students
  • You can find our e-books by searching the library catalogue, except for Libby titles. Please search directly in Libby for those.
  • Our e-books are available both on and off campus (requiring you to log-in using your portal user name and password)
  • They can be read online, or downloaded for a set period of time (depending on the publisher).
  • The main format used is PDF, ePub and HTML. The downloaded file will automatically be removed after a set period of time, however some are provided on a DRM (Digital Rights Management) free format, allowing you to download and keep them. 
  • A small number of e-books are published as Open Access, meaning they are freely available to view online. Please note JSTOR contains many open access e-books, not all of which will be listed in our library catalogue. You should however be able to find them in SUMMON.
  • The majority of our e-books will allow multiple concurrent users, however we do have some content where usage is limited to just one user at a time.  Any restrictions to the number of concurrent users are imposed and enforced by the publisher and not the library.

For more detailed advice please see the specific e-book platform in the left-hand menu.

Quick Guide

Adobe Reader                                                                                                                           

Many e-books require that you have a recent version of Adobe Reader installed.  Make sure that in Adobe Reader 'display PDF in browser' is set. To check your settings, open Adobe Reader, select Edit > Preferences > Internet and the 'display PDF in browser' should be ticked.

Chrome PDF viewer

Google Chrome browser has a built-in PDF viewer that can sometimes cause problems with viewing eBooks.  If you get an error message, it's worth disabling Chrome's PDF viewer to see whether that helps.

  • Type about:plugins into the address bar at the top.
  • Look for 'Chrome PDF Viewer' in the list of plugins and click the 'Disable' link.

This should enable eBooks to open in Adobe Reader or Adobe Digital Editions instead.


Some of our eBooks are available with a single user license, which only allows one user at a time to access the title.  If the book is open but has been inactive for 15 minutes, then the user's session is closed. This will then allow another student to access the book.  If the book is being read and pages turned regularly, this should not happen. 

E-books are subject to copyright law, and so publishers determine how much of a book can be downloaded, printed or copied. This can vary depending on the e-book supplier. Generally, printing and copying restrictions are set to a maximum of 10% or one chapter, whichever is greater.

The amount you can copy and print from an e-book depends on the publisher and platform restrictions. Most e-book platforms display your specific print and copy allowance for each title. Please be aware that these limits are per user for the lifetime of the book. Please make sure that you comply with copyright law – generally one chapter per book or 10% of a given work is allowed.

For more information please see the specific e-book platform. 

Most of our e-books are available to download. The download period will depend upon the platform, the license and the number of copies held by the library. Generally, the period will range from 1-5 days at a time. In some cases where access is only available to 1 user at a time, the Library has chosen not to enable downloads, in order to preserve access for other readers.

When the loan expires, you will be unable to open the e-book and will need to download it again to continuing using it offline. If you are using a shared PC, it is best to view the book online rather than download it.

Software Requirements

In order to download e-books to your desktop or laptop computer, you will need to have Adobe Digital Editions version 1.7.1 or higher installed. The first time you open an e-book, Adobe Digital Editions will ask you to authorize your computer.  The best way to do this is to supply an Adobe ID.  This way if you open the book on another computer, you can simply supply the same ID to open the book.

If you don't have an Adobe ID, click the "Create an Adobe ID" link.  After creating the ID on the Adobe website, you can close that browser window, return to ADE, and enter the newly created Adobe ID.

Nooks and most other e-readers (except Kindle)

Since nearly all of our e-books are in PDF format, you should be able to read the texts on personal devices which support PDF. You can use Adobe Digital Editions to transfer PDF files from your computer to most e-book readers except for the Kindle.  It is usually easiest to find and save an e-book to your computer, and then transfer the e-book to your tablet using a USB cable connection.  Adobe Digital Editions is compatible with dozens of devices


Although the Kindle is not compatible with Adobe Digital Editions, it is possible to use Send to Kindle to email PDF files to your Kindle reader.

Android or i-Pads

Some ebooks, but not all, can be downloaded directly to Android and iOS devices.  You will need to download and install the free Bluefire Reader app.‚Äč  After installing the Bluefire Reader app, you will need to authorize the app using your Adobe ID.  If you do not have an Adobe ID, click the "Don't have an Adobe ID?" link.   After creating the ID on the Adobe website, you can close that browser window, return to the Bluefire Reader app, and enter the newly created Adobe ID.

From time to time you may find that you are unable to view or download an e-book as the item is already in use (some books are limited to just one user at a time). Most e-book platforms will allow you to reserve the e-book sending you notification via email as soon as it is available.

Please see specific e-book platforms for information on how to reserve a title