questionshardcover/paperback college books vs. ebooks


If I could have "borrowed" an e-book for my classes that weren't related to my major, I would have gone that route. I definitely prefer my physical copies of my bio books. I can flip through, compare different books at once, highlight, etc.


@zuiquan: FYI... Many Community College instructors author books. I staring at probably a dozen now, sitting here in the Library.


@zuiquan: Ahh, I see. My apologies for misinterpreting. I did have a few professors who literally "wrote the book," but they were all really decent people who never required the newest editions. I suppose more often than not, though, profs would want the extra slice from selling more new editions.


Hard Copies.

IMO nothing is better than paper and my trusty highlighter.

I also like buying used books because they're cheaper. I've yet to see a 'cheaper' used digital e-book.


I prefer the physical book simply because I learn better from reading a book versus a webpage. Just me though.


I have very very very rarely seen the option for an E-book, but I have used one ONCE and it was lovely! I was able to hit CTRL-F and find any answer I wasn't familiar with in an instant instead of scanning around trying to find what I missed or forgot. That kind of direct information I find very appealing.

I tend to get very annoyed with textbooks as they get overly wordy. Yeah, I really need 3 pages to explain to me what "intentions" are in relation to moral theology. -_-


@kalira: I meant the profs who wrote the book. You can bet they're getting a slice. Quite a few of my professors literally wrote the book for the course they were teaching and required the most up to date version of the text. Of course, you're probably not going to run into that issue at community college but at some of the larger universities that's just how they roll.


eBooks have the possibility of a search function (the thing I miss most when dealing with physical textbooks), and it can be difficult to sell back physical books due to new editions (far as I know, it's not the profs who make money off that arrangement, but the publishing companies themselves).

However, most "new editions" have only minor changes, so if you plan on using them again (referencing in the future, refreshing your memory on the subject, laughing at weird doodles you drew while the professor droned on), physical books do have a good deal of use. If you're a kinesthetic or visual learner, making notes/underlining/etc. in the text itself may help you remember better than notes made in a Word document or notebook. And of course, you already mentioned my #1 issue with eBooks: eye strain (bane of my existence).

I will admit, though, that it's been a few years since I've dealt with eBooks, so they may have grown up some in the meantime. Sorry for any overthinking on my part :)


Most instructors will not allow an e-book if it needs to connect to the Internet. Any access to the Internet can be viewed as cheating.


@zuiquan: I didn't consider the difficulties resulting in selling the books back. Thank you for that input.

@ichigodiafuku: thanks


I would much rather spend my money on ebooks. In my experience, about 75% of the paper books I bought during the course of my degree were not resellable after my class either because there was a surplus of the title or the professor changed texts or required a newer version. This is how many professors make money, by updating their text slightly and requiring students to purchase it and they do it year after year. It's a pretty good racket. Those books I was able to resell ended up selling for pennies on the dollar.