Print is NOT dead

Most students dread the day a new semester begins because that means that they’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars on another set of textbooks.


Marissa Gonzalez and Mathew Flores prepare for a test using two different mediums. Photo credit: Priscilla Aguilera


Some sites like Amazon offer a free look into textbooks before buying it and the trials usually last a week before expiring in order for students to buy the books as soon as possible. And students, like myself, utilize these trials when we don’t have enough money to get all the books that we need.

Scott Malloy, a math professor at Fullerton College, does not allow e-books in class. During the first day of class, he made it clear that we were not allowed to use any electronics during class whatsoever.

“Nothing replaces a hard copy,” said Malloy.

He thinks that it’s not easy to read and refer to material when the class swipes through the e-book to address and answer questions from the homework.

To him, it’s especially problematic when it comes to doing the chapter reviews at the end of each chapter. Students our found to be constantly swiping the screen to get to the page they need to get to to be too much work which causes them to perform poorly on exams.


Mathew Flores saves space on his desk by reading an ebook, leaving more room for distractions. Photo credit: Priscilla Aguilera


According to, 68 percent of users say that e-books will never replace hard copy books.

Some of the users believe e-books would eventually replace paper books, but some think that a physical book has soul and spirit that eBooks cannot duplicate.

Yesenia Diaz, an anthropology major, thinks that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds.

She is an avid reader that prefers both e-books and tangible books, but when it comes to textbooks, she leans towards e-books.

“It’s convenient to have textbooks in the form of e-books because I don’t have to carry two to three book at a time, I can just carry my tablet that can hold a ton of books,” Diaz said.

When it comes to using e-books, it saves a ton of space and weight in student’s backpacks, but it also makes wallets lighter since the prices of renting certain ebooks can be more expensive than renting a hardcopy.

During the beginning of this semester, students search endlessly to find the cheapest textbooks, especially considering some earn close to minimum wage. It’s common for a new textbook to cost upwards of $150. Thanks to Chegg, an online company that helps students with homework and affordable textbooks, students can find books in the neighborhood of $40.

But there are times that buying an e-book is more convenient than waiting 3-4 days for a textbook to arrive at the front door. The reasons why were mostly fueled by laziness and negligence.

That said, it is hard to deny the convenience of an e-book.

At the beginning of the semester during an English class, the professor was asking everyone whether or not they had bought textbooks yet, and while she was talking about it, the book was downloading to my tablet.


Marissa Gonzalez a student at Fullerton College holds a book while studying in class. Photo credit: Priscilla Aguilera


It’s convenient to have an e-book, but it doesn’t replace the feeling of flipping through pages or the feeling of writing notes within the margins to help better understand the material.

Having a hardcopy of a textbook also helps when it comes to professors having open book and open note tests because most don’t allow having electronics during tests since students can access the answers from the test on the Internet.

Textbooks are still a great resource because they do not have the distractions an e-book comes with. Plus many students feel that hard copies make studying more expeditious than having to toggle back and forth between tabs or screens when using an e-book.

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