Webby Books (a.k.a. web e-books) provide an innovative alternative to the somewhat stale format of legal casebooks. While the traditional law publishers’ idea of an e-book is often little more than a glorified PDF, Webby Books embrace modern technology and the internet by developing casebooks as interactive websites.
A full list of the features of Webby Books may be found on the Features page, while a demonstration video may be viewed on the FAQs page. For convenience, some of the highlights are set out here, together with details on how to obtain access to a Webby Book.
Optimal Reading Experience
Webby Books are responsive, and so adjust in both appearance and functionality according to the size of the reader’s browser window. They can be read as easily on a ’phone or tablet as on a laptop or desktop PC or Mac.
To provide an optimum reading experience over longer periods, harsh contrasts between font and background colors have been avoided. In fact, the color scheme has been chosen to reduce eye-strain and to minimize any problems experienced by those with dyslexia.
The font has also been carefully chosen for comfortable reading, while those with dyslexia can install special fonts for an even better experience.
A fully-hyperlinked Table of Contents is always visible in the left-hand sidebar, so that readers can easily find a particular page. Breadcrumbs at the top and bottom of every page mean that the reader will never get lost. A full search function provides a far more comprehensive and accurate means of finding material than a traditional index could ever hope to provide.
Significant terms in the text are hyperlinked to a glossary, complete with pronunciations. All references are conveniently located in the right-hand sidebar, alongside the main body of the text, so that they remain easily accessible while not interrupting the “flow” of the text. The vast majority of such references are also hyperlinked to original sources.
Tables and Charts
Students particularly appreciate the fact that Webby Books include a significant number of tables, flowcharts, mindmaps, and other diagrams, which have proven to be extremely effective in aiding both comprehension and application of the law.
Every graphic can be enlarged, almost infinitely, without loss of definition.
Professors and students can add their comments to any page of a Webby Book. But this does not involve using the dreary comments template so familiar on blogging websites.
Instead, comments can be placed right next to the text to which they relate. A simple bubble indicates to other readers that a comment has been left there; clicking on that bubble enables other readers to read the comment and respond to it.
All readers of the Webby Book are also immediately sent an email, informing them that a new comment has been made (and where), so that they can find and join in the conversation just by clicking the hyperlink included in the email.
Similarly, a built-in forum enables professors and students to start and take part in discussions that go beyond a specific passage in the text. Such discussions may include hyperlinks to specific paragraphs in the text.
All readers receive an email whenever someone has started — or made a new contribution to — a forum discussion. This email contains a hyperlink that, when clicked, will take readers straight to the relevant contribution.
Multiple-choice quizzes are also included. While these are not designed to replace, or even to replicate, a final exam, they do provide students with an easy means of checking their knowledge of the basic concepts.
Access to Webby Books is by either a Class Text or a General subscription. Both are secured with strong, encrypted 12-digit passwords.
Adopting a Webby Book
We offer Class Text subscriptions for use in classes where the professor has chosen to adopt a Webby Book as the assigned text for his or her class. In this case, we create a copy of the relevant Webby Book that is purely for the use of the professor and his or her students.
No-one else has access, and no-one else receives emails about comments or forum discussions. We are able to offer Class Text subscriptions at a discount from the regular price of a Webby Book.
Professors who are interested in adopting a Webby Book as their assigned class text, or who would just like to inspect a particular Webby Book, are invited to contact us using the form on the Faculty page.
In addition, anyone who would like to use a Webby Book as a supplement to his or her class’s assigned reading, or just out of general interest, may take out either a 5 or 12 months’ subscription.
Readers who wish to take out such a subscription can do so here.
Finally, for those who remain a little more “old school,” a PDF version of each Webby Book can be purchased from within the Webby Book itself.
While this inevitably has significant limitations in comparison to the Webby Book format, it is not simply a printed-out replica of the Webby Book. In fact, it is completely re-formatted for print, with a full Table of Contents and traditional footnotes, for optimum use either as a PDF or printed out as a hard copy.