With electronic eReaders on the rise, eTextbooks have become a new venue for students to access their books. But campus bookstore officials say the eTextbooks are not a success.
Environmentally friendly and compact, eTextbooks are sold online and in many bookstores all over the country. They replace heavy textbooks and offer instant access on the comfort of a personal computer, Ipod and other digital devices, and they include useful features like self-study quizzes, comprehension analysis and assignment trackers.
â€œeTextbooks are actually on the rise in more popular books, like New York Times Bestsellers,â€ said John Parry, the CSU Bookstore director.
Despite their convenience and environmental attributes, eTextbooks are proving to be less popular among college students.
â€œCollege students just arenâ€™t buying them. The number of eTextbooks available on shelves are actually decreasing,â€ Parry said.
Sophomore English education major Chelsea Geier said she would probably never buy an eBook unless required to because she prefers real, paper books.
â€œEspecially as an English education major, books are important to me: and with eTextbooks you lose part of their realism and value,â€ Geier said.
Few classes require textbooks that only come in this electronic form. Among these classes is Psychology 100, which requires an eBook that costs $60.
â€œNot many students chose to buy eTextbooks this semester because the cost on them is actually more than the actual books,â€ Parry said.
The prices of eTextbooks can be a drawback, and they have no buyback value as eTextbooks only allow use of the materials for a specified amount of time. After the allotted time surpasses, the license to access the materials is no longer allowed.
â€œIf I had the option, I would choose to buy a regular textbook over an eTextbook,â€ said Veronica Jenssen, a sophomore psychology and journalism double major. â€œI donâ€™t like being on the computer anyway, and I canâ€™t sell them back.â€
Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.