SHU sounds off: e-Readers vs. Textbooks
New technologies are not just a part of life in the 21st century but they have come to define our generation. Advancements in technology have affected how we socialize, conduct business, communicate and even how we educate. In the past few years, digital books on e-readers and tablets like iPads, Kindles and Nooks have been introduced as ways for college students to replace physical textbooks.
The advantages of using an e-reader to download the contents of a textbook instead of owning a hard copy are undeniable. E-readers are lightweight and easily portable, they have the ability to store thousands of pages in one location and it is often cheaper to download the textbook rather than buy a hard copy. Some Seton Hall students have begun to rely on these digital textbooks for their convenience.
“It’s easy to buy e-books for my iPad because I don’t have to carry big books around with me all day for class,” said freshman Steven Cotroneo. “It’s also nice to only pay a fraction of the cost for a digital copy compared to a traditional textbook”
Junior Samantha Douglass wishes that more of her textbooks were available as e-books.
“I read for enjoyment on my iPad all the time, but none of my textbooks are available electronically,” she said. “If they were, I would definitely purchase the digital version because of the convenience of having them all in one place.”
Despite the many advantages downloading textbooks on e-readers offer, there are still students who would rather stick with the old-fashioned books that have been a staple of education for years.
Junior nursing student Alexandra Barikian said her program’s textbooks are only available to her in the form of e-books, but she would rather have hard copies.
“I prefer to read from a book in hand because I don’t like straining my eyes for long periods of time reading on a computer or e-reader,” Barikian said. “There are Apps out there for devices that allow you to highlight passages and turn pages like a real book, but it really isn’t the same.”
Cotroneo added that although he loves the convenience of e-books, he still appreciates the benefits of owning a textbook when it comes to being able to highlight and make notes.
It is unknown if e-readers will eventually outright replace traditional textbooks, but for now it seems that students appreciate still having a choice as to which type of book they prefer.
Brett Montana can be reached at email@example.com.