Are E-Books Worth It? the Pros and Cons of Electronic Textbooks for College

electronic textbooks

In 2019, the total revenue generated by the e-book publishing industry in the United States was a staggering $3.3 billion. While this amount may be slightly lower than the revenue generated in the previous year, it’s still an indication of how popular e-books are in an increasingly digitized world. Electronic textbooks make up a significant percentage of all the e-books sold in the country.

That’s because for college students, buying and studying course textbooks is an essential part of good performance. In this day and age, digital college books have a strong allure to students the world over.

But are electronic books worth it? 

Over the years, the e-books vs. textbooks for college education debate has been a heated one. Some people prefer paper-based textbooks, while others swear by digital books. Some say that both printed textbooks and e-textbooks are beneficial. 

So which should you pick? We’ve prepared a definitive guide on some of the top e-books pros and cons to help you decide. Read on to learn more.

Pros of Buying Electronic Textbooks

There’s a good reason for the unquestionable popularity of e-textbooks. Here are five reasons you may want to give these textbooks a go.

1. A single Device Can Carry Numerous Books

One of the biggest benefits of digital textbooks is that they’re highly portable. One e-book reader is more than enough to carry all the textbooks you want. Instead of having to carry several bulky books in your bag, you can store thousands of e-books on your e-reader and easily carry them around.

And since all the books are in one small device, you get to save lots of space.

2. E-Textbook are Accessible Everywhere

The good thing with electronic books is that you can always download them and store them to use later. You can carry a digital textbook around and read it anytime you want. If you want to go through the book while traveling or at home, you can easily do so.

Today, some e-readers allow you to access learning material offline. That means you can always use the e-book, whether you have an internet connection or not.

3. There are Easy Updates

In most cases, the contents of electronic books are cloud-based. This makes it easy to update the content at any given time.

When authors or publishers update the information on e-textbooks, you’ll always be able to access the most recent digital content. For authors and publishers, the ability to easily update information saves time and reprinting costs.

4. The Content  is Shareable 

Once you’ve downloaded a digital textbook, you can share any content you like with multiple users at once. Many e-book readers have a social feature that lets users share and like e-books. Printed books have no such feature, so you can only share a book with one person at a time.

5. E-Books Are Cost-Effective

Digital textbooks can be incredibly cheap. Many of them are free. That’s a huge reason why these textbooks are preferred by college students who are always on the lookout for ways to save money.

But why are e-book prices so friendly?

Firstly, there are no added shipping and delivery costs for digital e-textbooks. Additionally, the cost of paper and printing are also eliminated. It’s the reason most digital textbooks cost less than half the price of printed versions. 

6. E-Books have Interactive Elements

E-textbooks often come with many interactive features to enhance the reading experience and make it more engaging. Many of these textbooks allow the embedding of audio and video. Most digital information contains external links for additional information, 

Users that wish to bookmark certain pages can do so quickly and effortlessly. The same applies to making annotations or performing searches of particular words and phrases.

Cons of Buying E-Textbooks

While e-textbooks have a ton of benefits, they’re not perfect. Below we discuss some of the drawbacks of purchasing a digital college textbook.

1. E-Readers Can Cause Eye Strain

A common challenge associated with illuminated screens is that the user can strain their eyes if they stare at it for extended periods.  That’s especially true if you’re poring over digital pages late into the night while preparing for an exam or class project.  Printed textbooks hardly strain your eyes, as long there’s enough light close to you.

2. E-Books Rely On Access to Technology

Online textbooks may be highly flexible, but their heavy reliance on expensive electronic devices and internet access pose a problem. Not every college student can afford an iPad or a reliable computer. If you don’t have the right device, you have to rely on those who do or stick to the library.

3. You Can’t Resell E-Textbooks

When you’re in college, you’re always looking for ways to make extra cash.

One of the best things about purchasing physical textbooks is that you can always sell them back to the stores you bought them from. Other college students may also be willing to buy the book from you, which gets you some quick cash. 

With an online textbook, you can never resell them once you’ve made a purchase. Therefore, if you’re looking to get some of your money back once the semester is through, you may want to stick to printed textbooks. 

4. E-Books Are Too Close To Online Distractions

One of the surest ways to stay on track while in college is to cut down distractions. But the irresistible appeal of online entertainment and social media can prove quite distracting when you’re trying to read a digital textbook. 

When your favorite social media site is only a tap away, the temptation to click on it can be overwhelming. Those frequent distractions from your study time can hinder your academic progress in the long run.

Choosing Between E-Textbook and Print Versions

Ultimately, the choice between electronic textbooks and paper-based textbooks boils down to your personal preferences. If you’re big on portability, accessibility, affordability, and the ability to share content, then a digital textbook is ideal for you. But if you’re wary of straining your eyes and online distractions, you may want to think twice before purchasing e-textbooks.

If you want to enjoy life in college, embrace our textbook rental services today. 


It’s Study Time! How to Take Notes From a Textbook the Right Way

how to take notes from a textbook

Did you know that you must learn how to take notes from a textbook the right way if you want to soak up all of the information? Although we wish it weren’t true, there is a right and wrong way to take notes. If you’re looking to ace that up and coming test, then you’ll need to know how to take notes from your textbook the right way.

If you weren’t taught in high school the proper way to take notes, then college might become overwhelming as many of your courses will require you to take well-written notes. Luckily, we’re here to help! Although not everyone takes notes the same way or has the same style of learning and remembering key facts, there are a few tips that everyone should follow when taking notes.

Continue reading below for several ways to ensure that you’re taking notes correctly!

Preview Chapters

The first thing that you’ll want to do is preview the chapters that you’ll be taking notes on. What is your test or quiz going to be on? Preview those chapters by flipping through the pages and looking at the chapter headings and subheadings. 

Pay attention to the words in bold or underline. All of this information is essential if you want to grasp a general idea of what you’re about to read. Be sure to look at all of the pictures, captions, and other information such as charts or graphs. 

These are all just as important as the headings and vocabulary words and are often overlooked, yet they can be a big factor in helping you understand the text. When you get to the end of the text, there will most likely be a section of questions to see what you learned. 

Pay attention to these questions as these are the main concepts that you should pick up on during your read. Know what the questions are ahead of time and you should have no problem answering them after reading the text.

Create an Outline

You should now create an outline. Take all of those important concepts that you pulled from your review and use them as the bones of your outline. There are a few different ways to create an outline, so be sure to find a way that works best for you. 

You can use the Cornell notes way of outlining or any other form of outlining that helps you stay organized the best. As you read through each section of your text, fill in the key information under it’s heading in your outline. After you finish reading a section, a good tip is to close your text and then pull information from your memory.

Filling out your outline from your memory is a great way to help you remember that information when it’s test time. Open the text back up and be sure to correct any errors you may have made and fill in any missing information as well. All bolded or underlined words for that section should be in your notes.

When done, continue on to the next section and repeat.

Break Down Each Section

Be sure to read one section at a time. You don’t want to read an entire chapter and then go back and try to remember what was most important in each section. Reading the entire chapter at once without breaking it down into section note taking also makes it harder to store all of the valuable information in your memory. 

If you read section by section, taking notes for each as you go, you’ll grasp the concept of each section helping you understand the next section even more. 

Use Visuals and Colors as Needed

If you hear the word outline and you immediately think, “boring,” then you’re in for a treat. Just because you’re creating an outline doesn’t mean it has to be dull. As mentioned before, everyone learns in a different way and the way you take notes should work well for you.

If you learn best by looking at visuals or color-coordinated notes, then go for it. Never hesitate to add visuals into your outlines such as charts, graphs, or different highlighter colors. 

Do keep in mind that when using highlighters, you want to only highlight the keywords from your notes. When using different colors, be sure that each color stands for a specific meaning such as yellow is for vocabulary words and pink is for important people.

Pull Important Details

Always pull the important details when taking notes. Writing down too much can actually set you back. You only want to take the most important information from the text for your notes. 

You’ll need to find a balance between taking too little and too many notes. To help find this balance, only focus on the information that you think is essential for passing your test. 

Use Annotations

Annotations are a wonderful way to help you take great notes. Your annotations can be written on the side of your notes or on sticky notes that are then stuck to the top of your notes. Your annotations can include different connections that you made between two concepts while reading, questions you want to ask your professor, or something else. 

You Now Know How to Take Notes from a Textbook!

After reading through this guide, we now hope that you know how to take notes from a textbook! Remember, you need to do what works best for you, so if something doesn’t seem to be helping you remember, then switch it up! Just keep these tips in mind to guide you along the way!

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