Students talk about the value of textbooks

Victoria Hess/Staff Photographer

Victoria Hess/Staff Photographer

Books have existed for years, but as we advance our technology, the use of physical books has dwindled. There are Kindles and iPads, as well as online sites which can make a book unvaluable. Yet, does the same apply when it comes to textbooks? Should they be online or printed?

Textbooks are clunky and heavy which makes them harder to carry around which might lead students to believe that online books would be easier as they would be compacted into one thing. However, there are still people who enjoy having a physical book in their hands.

“Even though I believe that eBooks provide more convenience for any student, I am still a hold the book in my hands  kind of girl,” Katie Dwyer, a freshman business major, said. “I focus more on my assignment when it is in my hands. When my assignments are online, I have more distractions online such as social media, music and other assignments I could do.”

With a physical textbook, a person can only complete their assigned reading or work. If textbooks were online, there could be so much more potential for what we could do with them.

“I hope [textbook replacements] are a digital portal that is interactive with quizzes, powerpoints, professor lectures, and topical updates from the popular press. A PDF copy of a tradition textbook is rather dull and not very innovative,” Daniel Ladik, a marketing professor, said.

Some textbooks have a version of this, where there is an access code that a student can use so they can interact with the textbook.

“In Conversational Spanish, we have a textbook and we have a code, which gives you access to these homework sets where you learn grammar,” Lindsey DeLorie, a junior diplomacy and modern language double major, said.

The idea of having a textbook or an online version seems to be based on the person.

“It is possible, however I personally get tired viewing a computer screen. I don’t think there is as much strain on the eyes when you are viewing printed material,” Ventre, a biology professor, said.

This leaves the question of if textbooks will ever go away. With various personal preferences, both, online and hardcover books will be available for use.

Kiah Conway can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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