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Your Parents Never Had it This Easy – eTextbooks and the Future of Education

There are several reasons why eTextbooks and their purveyors are a necessary wave of the future. Without exception, eTextbooks are beneficial economically and ecologically to both publishers and customers alike.

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Here are a handful of existing situations pertaining to traditional hardcover and paperback textbooks and how eTextbooks can literally transform these situations—and the world.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Student Loans
Like most students above the age of five, you’ve had the importance of a college degree drummed into your head. What no one tells you is how much it will cost. Books alone account for 26% of cost and tuition.

Last year, families of college students spent $6 billion on college textbooks. The lowest figures found each student shelling out a minimum of $1,000 each college year.

What’s worse, all textbooks and their corresponding subjects are not created equal, so they’re also not priced equally. Math and science majors are especially prone to textbook cost overdose. Textbooks in these subjects can cost a whopping $300-500 per textbook.

Say it together – that’s ridiculous.

At the same time, humanities majors can get caught out there, too. Professors will demand you buy specific editions of Shakespeare and Norton Anthologies, often leaving you no safe opportunity to buy used or alternative editions.

Eager and talented students often cite the mounting costs of textbooks as the number one headache that dogs their financial aid package from semester to semester.

eTextbooks can remedy the traditional textbook scenario in multiple ways. First, electronic textbooks cost less for publishers to produce, which means publishers pass these savings on to you.

No physical space in the world is required to house electronic textbooks, as they’re virtual. This saves room in your backpack, but also saves your back, since you won’t have to schlep the equivalent of a small child around each day.

After downloading a simple app, digital versions allow you to open purchased textbooks on a variety of devices, including iPhone and iPad, Android, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kindle Fire. Bookmarking, highlighting, and copy/paste features allow you to return to and retrieve vital info or transfer it to another format.

A Hardcover Saved is a Tree Earned
The long term side effects of traditional textbook production simply aren’t sustainable. Each printed textbook involves the loss of valuable natural resources, not only the materials required to produce the textbook, but those that are consumed during the product’s creation.

This dead end equation is effectively eradicated with the use of eTextbooks. You can save the planet while earning your degree. That’s nice. With an eTextbook, valuable resources are spared, since very little are required for publishing textbooks in a virtual format. This is good news in a place like the U.S., where less than 50% of all publishers have environmental policies and goals in place for increasing recycled paper usage.

It’s no wonder publishers are embracing eTextbooks, and soon it won’t be shocking that students will shift to digital textbooks completely.

Try Before You Buy
Another wonderful benefit of an eTextbook: You can rent it for just a semester at a significantly reduced cost. Better still, you can enjoy a free trial in which you’re allowed to read the eTextbook and its contents, and even use it, without obligation.

This allows you to try out the textbook in question before purchase, not only to get used to the format but to decide if it suits you (if you have a choice). It’s a no-cost win-win.

For their low cost, low waste, and ease of use, eTextbooks are a safe, sustainable future option for both publishers and college students.

Author: Joe Whyte