E-books offer students more options, freedom

By Kara Mercer

Book buybacks are a hassle at the end of each semester, which is one reason teachers should require more books with e-book options.

It is finals week and students are walking into bookstores to return heavy textbooks they rented for the semester, or trying to sell them back to any place that will take them. Selling back textbooks does not always work out, and students end up with mere pocket change in exchange for books they paid a fortune for. Other places that buy back textbooks won’t even take certain books that won’t be in high demand, leaving students with books they do not need.

E-books cost about a third less than a new printed textbook, according to Boston University’s website. Students already pay for tuition, food, athletics and other pricey things. Textbooks should help students out, not empty their bank accounts.

Books that come in both an e-book format and a printed format give students more freedom because they decide for themselves whether they want to lug around heavy books or bring a device to class.

Teachers often require students to bring textboooks to class every day, and if students have multiple classes that operate like this, they could be carrying around three or four text books in their bags at a time. This could cause back pain and added stress.

Since e-books are digital, there are a lot more tools students can use to supplement their learning. Web content, like audio and video, can be linked in e-book chapters. E-books also allow students to search for key terms and add notes to text in a way that does not permanently modify the book.

Some students prefer standard textbooks, however, so requiring e-books exclusively wouldn’t be helpful for them.

“I personally prefer textbooks, regular textbooks, because I like the actual physical copy when I’m reading something,” said Jared Vasquez, sophomore engineering technology and manufacturing major. “And the fact that I can highlight in a textbook much easier.”

Standard textbooks have their pros, but there should at least be the option for students who want to reap the benefits of a digital age.