Jan 182011
Authors: Sarah Banes

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.

“eTextbooks are actually on the rise in more popular books, like New York Times Bestsellers,” said John Parry, the CSU Bookstore director.
Despite their convenience and environmental attributes, eTextbooks are proving to be less popular among college students.

“College students just aren’t buying them. The number of eTextbooks available on shelves are actually decreasing,” 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.
“Especially as an English education major, books are important to me: and with eTextbooks you lose part of their realism and value,” 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.

“Not many students chose to buy eTextbooks this semester because the cost on them is actually more than the actual books,” 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.

“If I had the option, I would choose to buy a regular textbook over an eTextbook,” said Veronica Jenssen, a sophomore psychology and journalism double major. “I don’t like being on the computer anyway, and I can’t sell them back.”

Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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