Pros and cons of e-textbooks
Imagine holding all of your class books in the palm of your hand. The age of technology has inspired a new generation of online and nontraditional learners who opted out of higher learning following high school, and e-textbooks are yet another step toward the digitization of education. Some professors provide curriculum on handheld Kindles and Nooks while others prefer their students to read from tangible pieces of paper. Whether you choose to upload all of your reading onto your mobile device or stick to traditional methods, you might want to weigh the options.
In an interview with USA Today, Heather Mulhern, a writing and literature major in Boston, Massachusetts, said she used her e-reader to flip through assigned novels.
"Sometimes it is easier to search for a particular passage or search themes in an e-book, but it is harder to use sticky notes in them, so it wasn't necessarily easier to study books on my Nook," she told the news source.
Are you unsure of whether these handheld libraries are for you? Here's a rundown of the pros and cons of digital text.
E-books are undoubtedly the most efficient and portable way to keep all of your textbooks in one place. You can potentially fit an entire semester's worth of books in your purse or messenger bag, as most mobile textbooks have more than a dozen gigabytes of memory.
Unlike textbooks, which take several years to damage to the point of unreadability, Nooks and Kindles are like any other piece of technology - they can crash at any time. If you decide to get an e-book, be sure to back up all of your files on a hard drive or computer so all of your digital books are saved.
Because e-books avoid printing costs, buying digital texts can be extremely affordable. Rather than ringing through your credit card for several hundred dollars every semester, you could potentially spend less than $100 on books that will never fade away over time.
Con: The end of print?
There's nothing quite like holding a book or newspaper in your hand, and digital textbooks definitely take away from the ability to write notes in the margins, pick out highlighter colors and doggy-ear fascinating passages. With printed press drawing to a close, e-books lack a sense of nostalgia that still lives in millions of novels and scholarly texts around the world.