Textbook vs. E-Book: Which Should I Choose?

Textbook vs E-Book

The new semester is coming up. You go in line at your local textbook store and you ask for the textbooks you need. The customer service representative asks, “Would you like a physical copy or an electronic copy?” You stand there, stumped. You had not thought about this question before walking in the store. You just assumed that the representative would give you a load of books and send you on your way. How do you answer the question? Which version is best for you? Hopefully this blog post makes your decision, an easy one.

Pros of the Textbook:

Textbooks are tangible. Most students have physical copies of the textbook and odds are, the instructor has a physical copy of it as well. Textbooks are good for tactile learners who enjoy highlighting and underlining key information while studying. Most textbook stores, including Textbook Solutions, allow students to write in rental textbooks.

Textbooks are traditional. It is easily accessible and does not require any online setups or configurations to use it. For the technophobes who prefer the old fashioned way of learning, textbooks are friends.

Cons of the Textbook:

Textbooks can weigh anywhere from a pound to five pounds or more. If you multiply five by the amount of textbooks you need for the semester, you are looking at 25 or 30 pounds of textbooks! Undoubtedly, textbooks can cause physical strain and can become tedious to carry for any length of time.

Textbooks can run the risk of getting damaged. Physical textbooks are essentially pages and pages of paper. And paper can easily be ruined by water. So if it is raining outside or if you spill your drink, the textbook can get ruined and you may have to pay a fee.

Pros of the Electronic Book:

Unlike the textbook, an electronic book weighs as much as your smart device. There is no physical strain to carry the e-book and everything is compacted through one device.

The electronic books are always with you. That is, if you have your device in hand. Sometimes we forget our physical textbooks at home. Well, no fear! With the electronic book, you have accessibility to the textbook anywhere.

Cons of the Electronic Book:

One word: malfunction! Technology is unreliable at times and can go wrong in an instant. Have you ever had a network connection problem while taking a test or working on an assignment? If so, then enough said.

One downside of the electronic book is that you cannot take notes directly on the book. Granted, there are online applications that allow you to take notes but this may not be the most effective method for learning.

So which one do you choose?

Well, if you prefer something tangible and trustworthy, choose the physical textbook! If you are more of an “on-the-go” person who keeps the cell phone nearby, the electronic book seems like your option! At Textbook Solutions, we offer many physical textbook options as well as access cards for online e-books. As you’re starting to shop for textbooks for this upcoming fall semester, be sure to check us out and Save More Green!

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