Pros and Cons of Electronic Textbooks
The Kindle and other readers/tablets are quickly becoming more and more popular, and so is the idea of electronics textbooks. This term, I got two of my books electronically for my Kindle; in some ways I really liked them, but they were not perfect and probably won’t be the sole way I read textbooks anytime soon.
Keep in mind that electronic books will have different pros and cons for different devices. For example, reading a textbook on a seven inch kindle with e-ink is a whole different experience from reading one on an iPad.
- One of the best reasons to have electronic books in general is that you can fit 2000 of them on one device. You can lug around all your books for your classes in ten ounces.
- Electronic textbooks are way cheaper to buy than NEW hard copies of the book.
- My absolute favorite pro of electronic textbooks is being able to search the whole book. You can type in the exact word you want to find and it will highlight all those words in the entire book (sort of like CTRL F.) This did me wonders on online tests.
- They are limited. You cannot get any book you want on your e-reader. They simply do not make all books for them, especially textbooks.
- Even though electronic books are cheaper, you can obviously not get them used. If you are a bargain shopper, you can probably find a used hard copy of a book online for cheaper than the electronic edition.
- Electronic textbooks seem a lot less practical for a lot of reasons. It’s not as easy to just “flip to chapter ten.” You have to get out your reader, turn it on, select the book, and click your way to chapter ten. Not a huge problem..
- Textbooks usually aren’t just simply text, (because the have all sorts of diagrams and pictures) and that creates a problem, especially with the kindle. The book will show up on your kindle the way it would on the hard copy, meaning the text and pictures would be super small, and you’d have to zoom and scroll to navigate. The book may also show up with regular sized text and pictures but then the alignment of those pictures and graphs will be all messed up, or the pictures will show on a page to themselves. Either way, this is probably the most annoying part of e-textbooks. A textbook on a tablet would probably be the best solution as they could be more easily navigated and would be on larger screens.
In conclusion, you may want to stick with the traditional textbooks for now, as they can be cheaper, and the information shows up on the pages the way it was meant to.