the good, the bad – the eTextbooks

Over the years, I have kept up a decent amount of muscle on my arms between carrying what seems to be a thousand pound purse, in addition to my text books. With all the money it costs to purchase a textbook, you would think that your wallet would expect this to come, but if you are anything like I am, this is untrue. It is constantly a surprise that I have quite a large, expensive textbook for EVERY SINGLE CLASS that seems to all need to be brought to the library on the same exact day. So as I packed up my suitcase every day, I wondered if there was any way to get around this.

Alas, the eTextbook has finally found itself into my repertoire for this semester. Recently, I have purchased my very own eTextbook for a summer class that I am currently taking. I was slightly hesitant about this purchase due to being unfamiliar about how it works. I am still in the air about whether or not I like it or not. I have done some research and I have been able to compile a list of the best pros, cons, and commentary about eTextbooks.

So lets start with some pros:

  •  The eTextbook is able to be accessed through the internet, SO NO MORE TIRED ARMS. I think that this is my favorite part, you can bring all of your books with you, everywhere you go, as long as you have access to internet
  • You have instant access to the eTextbook, rather than having to wait for it to be delivered
  • there are features not accessible in a paper text book like audio, video, color, etc.
  • You can hi light information on most textbooks, which is an option for mine
  • You save money!!

I really enjoy the use of my eTextbook for the reasons listed above. The access of new technology has definitely made this more possible for people to use, and with the use of a kindle (which I own) and other devices like an iPad or laptop computer, you can take your textbook with you everywhere.

There are some cons to having an eTextbook:

  • You only have access to the content for a certain amount of time, because the subscription expires. My text book has a limit of 180 days, which means that after then I will no longer have access to its content
  • You can no longer quick reference something in a textbook without access to internet
  • You usually cannot sell the text book back
  • There may be a hard time studying from a computer, I believe that this is my biggest problem with the eTextbook

I have a mixed review about the eTextbook due to the above cons. I have used it for my class and can get the information, but I do miss being able to just open the textbook to reference a certain page during class. I have not had a problem with my teacher being disrupted by the use of my computer during instruction, because it is a requirement for class; however, I am unsure of how it will work in another class.

I believe that I will use an eTextbook again, even though there are some drawbacks to it. I believe that the option to have a textbook online makes my life a lot easier. Have you used an eTextbook before? If so, id you enjoy it or not?

You can check out these blogs about pros and cons of eTextbooks that I used before I made my purchase:

https://nssea.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/pros-and-cons-e-books-and-e-book-readers/

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/12/07/are-e-books-cost-effective-the-pros-and-cons-of-e-books/

http://tablets-textbooks.procon.org

-Mindy Ross

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3 thoughts on “the good, the bad – the eTextbooks”

  1. I actually have never used an eTextbook before. I understand the pros to eTextbooks, but personally I like to be able to have a textbook in front of me. I guess I am just oldschool. I enjoy being able to write in the book and highlight things.

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  2. I’ve used eTextbooks in the past and although all of my experiences have been good, I still prefer textbooks. I prefer having the textbook in front of me to highlight, write, reread, and reference. I guess that makes me old fashion too. Textbooks are easier to manage and you don’t have to worry about rebooting your PC if it crashes while you are in the middle of reading. You wouldn’t have to worry about any technology glitches for that matter! Technology fails when we least expect it to. I do agree with the pros and cons that you mentioned, but despite the pros and cons, I believe textbooks and eBooks are equally effective.

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  3. I used Etextbooks many times for my undergrad classes! I loved them because I could have 6 books with me but not have to carry the weight of them around with me everywhere! I stored them on my iPad it was so easy! I had a few issues with glitches where I wouldn’t be able to see a specific page because it wouldn’t load or it would just suddenly close out on me which would definitely get frustrating! But overall I usually had good experiences with them. I specifically like the kind that you could put notes in and you could type in key words in the search menu to help you find a specific passage that you are looking for. I would definitely use Etextbooks again if I needed them!

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