Many people have transitioned to e-books to fulfill their reading pleasures. The immediacy, availability and portability of e-books make them a viable alternative to printed books. In the same way, electronic textbooks are poised to replace traditional printed textbooks and for some very good reasons. Electronic textbooks offer several advantages over traditional textbooks for the student.
College students often have limited resources and a long list of required course textbooks. E-textbooks are not only cheaper to buy and download, they may also be rented in some cases, saving the student even more money. In general, a student can save up to 60% of the cost of textbooks by buying electronic textbooks online and up to 80% when renting them. That savings is more than enough to pay for the price of an e-reader device. Many electronic textbooks are available on a seven day trial, so if you’ve downloaded the wrong book or it isn’t applicable to your course, you can return it for a refund.
Ease of Taking Notes
Taking notes from a traditional textbook involves going through the text with a highlighting marker and writing down notes and page numbers in a notebook. These notes must later be reviewed and transcribed if the student is writing a paper and the notebook must be neat enough to read for studying purposes. Most e-readers allow the user to highlight text, make notes and save them directly into the e-book as they read. Bookmarks aid the user in locating all their notes and they can be easily reviewed as needed.
An iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader device can go anywhere the student goes. Traditional textbooks are bulky and heavy and require that the student have an available space with a table or desk in order to study, take notes, or even read. Electronic textbooks reside on the e-reader, so an entire semester’s worth of textbooks can travel with the student in a backpack or handbag and still collectively weigh less than a pound.
Electronic textbooks are becoming very popular and more of them are available through e-book stores every day. They can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes Noble and other specialty sites online such as textbooks.com and CourseSmart.
Ease of Shopping
With a list of required textbooks in hand, you can quickly browse the online resources and have your course books purchased in a very short period of time. Once purchased, you will be able to instantly download the textbook, there’s no standing in long lines at the bookstore or waiting for the books to be delivered.
E-reader or Computer based
If you don’t have an e-reader, there are options available for your computer. Amazon’s Kindle for PC is a free download and gives the user the same functions for notes, bookmarks, etc., as a hand-held Kindle. There are free Kindle apps for almost any device, including smartphones and tablets. Electronic textbooks from Barnes & Noble are available with a download of their free NOOKstudy eReader. These programs can be used on multiple computers, so you can download them to both a desktop and a laptop for more portability.
For ease of use, availability, portability and price, electronic textbooks may be the best choice for the college student who has high academic goals, but a limited budget.