Paper has become nearly obsolete in this day and age. We use pieces of plastic instead of paper to pay for our things, we get more emails than snail mail and we pay our bills online. We even turn in school assignments to a designated online location, so need I say more?
The only reason we have paper anymore is to have a hard copy of whatever document, including textbooks.
We all know textbooks are expensive and can quickly add up depending on how many classes you take. As a college student with minimal funds, it’s in my best interest, to opt for the more affordable e-book option.
With e-books, there is no hassle to return a book to the campus bookstore, Chegg or Amazon. They are much easier to obtain right when you need them. Within minutes of purchase, the book is downloaded to your mobile device or computer. Boom, instant gratification.
To buy a paper textbook, you have to go somewhere close to get it as soon as possible, and probably pay more for the same gratification. Or, an online purchase to save money could leave you waiting 3-5 business days.
E-books also offer a higher level of usability. To find a subject in a paper textbook, you have to skim the index, find the page and hope what you want is there. With an e-book, you type your subject into the convenient search bar, and every page with that word (or series of words) pops up with your search highlighted.
Some call it being lazy, I call it being resourceful. Besides, who wants to scroll through the pages of an e-book all day? Not me.
Other e-book features that students can take advantage of include brightness adjustments for strained eyes, and the option to have the e-book read aloud to you as opposed to reading it.
I don’t know about you but it can be a pain (literally), having to carry four books around, whether that be in a backpack or in one’s arms. E-books take up a lot less physical space and only account for a small portion of storage on your electronic device.
E-books are portable and can be accessed pretty much anywhere you go, as long as your device is charged.
Along with their mobility, they do not use trees like traditional textbooks do. With e-books, you’re saving natural resources.
It’s 2016, so more teachers are getting with the times and using more technology in the classroom themselves.
Nutrition and foods professor Colleen Kvaska lets her students decide whether they want to read an e-book or the actual textbook. She said that as long as they’re reading the text, she has no problem. Although, she did acknowledge a problem in the classroom with electronic devices.
“Sometimes students have a laptop or tablet but instead of focusing on completing the task at hand, they are surfing the net, checking their email, downloading music…if they are distracted, then it is difficult for them to pay attention to what else is going on in the classroom,” Kvaska said.
While some professors are still against using technology in the classroom to rule out any chances of cheating, others, like Kvaska, are much more lenient and acknowledge the fact that there are some students who prefer an electronic textbook.
Mechanical engineering major Matt Benavidez said that e-books are better for him in particular because of accessibility and price.
“I prefer e-books because I can access them anytime and anywhere. I already take all my
notes for classes on my tablet so having my textbooks available online is much more convenient than carrying around a heavy textbook,” Benavidez said. “Also, e-books are usually cheaper, and that’s always nice.”
Although e-books can be more convenient for students who are always on the go and are electronically savvy, traditional textbooks still appeal to the majority of the college student population.
According to a recent study by Tech Times, 92 percent of college students prefer reading paper books compared to e-books.
It all comes down to preference – there is no right or wrong way to obtain knowledge. We all learn in different ways. In a technological age, sometimes learning adaptions stick, while other times tradition conquers.