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E-readers Won’t Replace Textbooks : Here’s Why

The luxury of carrying a little piece of electronics is unbelievably tempting when you have spent the last few years carting around textbooks.  If that wasn’t enough, E-Readers also offer an unmatched ease of study, readability, and lower per-book cost.  With the way book trends are going, it can be tempting to feel like an E-Reader will solve your textbook woes.

Unfortunately, no matter how handy your E-Reader might be, they will never be able to compete in the textbook market.  There are simply people and companies that cannot let it happen, for a lot of both good and bad reasons.

 

Why E-readers Won't Replace Textbooks

 

Reasons Why E-readers Won’t Replace Textbooks

Publishers Monopoly

There are very few publishing gigs quite as good as textbooks.  They might have a limited market but they can charge whatever they want, they waste almost no money on marketing, and they can issue new editions every few years to ensure that the market never has too many used books out there.  You would think, they would be eager to move into E-Books.  Unfortunately, people expect a lowered price for E-Books, and those publishers are going to take any step necessary to avoid lowering their price.

 

Study Guides

Most textbooks have additional pages at the side and back of the book such as appendices, glossaries, or practice exams.  These sections function best when you can flip back and forth between those sections, and the one you are studying.  While there are a few E-Readers that have the technology to make a digital glossary handy, there are a lot that haven’t progressed that far.  Coding textbooks along that line can be time-consuming as well, and when publishers can cut that effort out through paper, they are going to.

 

Homework/Tests With Textbooks And With E-readers

Quite a few textbooks include practice questions, homework assignments and tests throughout the book.  Professors love these because it makes their job easier.  Of course, that means that you must have a written version of the book.  Otherwise you can’t write on it, tear out the necessary pages, and hand them in.  For you, it also means that you are then able to study better, being able to flip through, make notes and highlight important points.  Unfortunately, all of that book defacing isn’t currently possible through standard E-Readers so you’ll have to wait before that advantage is gone.

 

Buy Backs

Not all of the reasons why E-Readers don’t work for college students are bad.  Book returns is one of the greatest examples of these advantages.  Most college campuses, and a lot of off-campus companies, offer to purchase back textbooks for a reduced price so that they can sell them to students the next year.  That means that you not only get to get rid of your old textbooks, but that you get to make money off of them. Check out How To Choose The Right E Readers.

So count your cash and remember that if you had an E-Reader, you wouldn’t be getting any of that money back if you are comparing it with textbooks.

e readers

About Sandeep Kale

Avatar for Sandeep Kale
Sandeep Kale, Founder and chief editor of Tricks Window. He is a Software Engineer and a self developed blogger and designer behind Tricks Window. He lives in Pune, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tips And Tricks Window on Twitter OR Subscribe to Tricks Window feed via RSS OR EMAIL to receive instant updates.
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