Digital textbooks challenge prices

Textbooks are becoming pricier and pricier for college students. According to Cincinnati.com, students spend an average of $900 a year on textbooks. Most students are thrilled when they find a college that has affordable in-state tuition, but the hike in textbooks soon takes that thrill away.

Students are not the only ones complaining about the textbook price hike, professors are also feeling the pressure. Professors do not want to make their students pay so much for books, especially when many of students reference the Internet to learn concepts they do not understand very well. Professors want to be able to use the text as a supplement to the class, but when the prices are so high it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.

To solve this problem companies such as Open-Source Books, DigitalTextbooks.com, Zinio, iChapters, and Coursesmart have provided students with more affordable online textbooks. Some of these sites actually offer some free books online.

The books that are available are in digital form, and are typically discounted almost 75 percent. Students don’t feel guilty about buying a book for $40, while having the capability to highlight electronically, and take notes. Once the class is over the textbook expires.

I do not think that books will be ever completely eliminated, but I do think that digital textbooks will become more prevalent than physical ones.

Do you think that digital textbooks will be helpful or detrimental to Universities?

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  1. […] by Alex Butts on September 29, 2010 · Leave a Comment  Each semester, rising textbook prices become the center of debate. Not only are these textbooks too expensive for students and school […]



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