While e-reader sales are slowing down, this doesn’t mean this is true for e-books.
Only 19% of adults own an e-reader right now, while this number was at a full 32% in early 2014.
But e-book sales, in the meantime, have been on a steady rise since 2008.
What is accounting for this odd paradox? Tablet and smartphone usage and sales.
People are reading more and more on their tablets and smartphones. Which means that e-books have just found a different screen on which to live.
But what does this mean for students?
Students have been taking advantage of the e-book revolution from the start. And so have textbook companies.
A lot of students will still buy a physical textbook, but a lot of textbooks now come with a digital copy as well.
But what are the benefits of e-books for students? Let’s study and find out.
1. One Of The Benefits Of E-Books: Leave The Textbook In The Dorm
Physical textbooks still haven’t been eclipsed by e-books. And for good reason.
Our brains use the location in a physical book to help us remember information.
It might be part of our proprioception or some long-established habit we’ve formed since the invention of the printing press.
This doesn’t mean that physical textbooks are better for a student than their e-book counterparts.
In fact, they are both useful tools.
A student doesn’t need to lug their physical textbook to class when they have an e-book on their tablet, computer, or e-reader.
This does two things, saves their backs and gives them ample space to take notes without resorting to pen and paper.
Each textbook weighs between 2 and 7 pounds. If you’re taking a full course load of 12 hours, that’s 3-6 textbooks you’re lugging around every day.
And most student backpacks aren’t designed to carry that weight without hurting the wearer’s back.
Consider the weight of a tablet in comparison. Under 2 lbs.
One of the benefits of e-books: you could carry hundreds of textbooks on a tablet computer or an e-reader.
2. Benefits Of e-Books: Students Don’t Miss Out On Learning Due To Logistics Problems Or TextBooks Out Of Stock
Did you ever have to share a book in high school or college with your neighbor?
It’s utterly distracting having to sit inches away from your class partner. And if they are someone who doesn’t like you, they may just hog the book and you’re stuck with nothing.
The shipping system isn’t perfect.
While Amazon promises two-day shipping on a lot of items, and big data and machine learning are making logistics more and more efficient by the day. We still do
We still do not have a perfect shipping system.
So, when students and university bookstores rely on an imperfect shipping system, only students lose out in the long run.
One of the benefits of e-books is the ability to avoid this problem.
You can download the book as soon as you get your syllabus and your funding.
No more sitting down in class being utterly embarrassed that you don’t have your textbook.
No more sharing with the person next to you and watching their begrudging looks.
e-Books are kept on a server. And as long as the server is running, e-books will always be in stock.
3. e-Books Are Connected To The Internet
If you’ve become accustomed to reading on an e-reader or tablet, you probably automatically hold down on a difficult word to find out what it means.
Hilariously, some of us have even forgotten this isn’t possible on a physical page.
But this highlights the effectiveness and ease by which we get extra information beyond an e-book through an e-book.
That’s right. An e-book is more than a book. It’s a portal to other sources of information.
If a textbook cites a source and that source is online, the author can include a hyperlink.
Especially with e-books on tablets on laptops, this is one of the major benefits of e-books as textbooks.
We don’t need to be bound to the book itself. Most if not all academic material is found in previous research or study. And we use those sources to prove and test theories and other academic knowledge.
If we can link to these authoritative sources, we can learn more and judge the text of the book better.
And this is utterly useful for students as well as professors.
4. Students With Vision Impairment Can Benefit
For the longest time, large print books were a burden for students with vision impairment.
If you can imagine, textbooks already weigh a ton. And if you increase the font size, the size of the book goes up.
But one of the benefits of e-books is the ability to change font size.
You are not longer stuck with 12pt font. If you have troubling making out the words on the page, you simply zoom in.
It’s really that simple.
And you no longer have to rely on the insanely massive books that were large print.
5. The Benefits Of e-Books: No More Costly CD or DVDs
It used to be that if a textbook company wanted to add any extra material to the book, they would load it onto a CD or DVD and paste the plastic container inside the book cover.
This is no longer the case.
All they have to do now is include it with the e-book file or link out to a server and give a password.
This opens up boundless opportunity for textbook companies to supplement material.
They can add 3-D models of the human body in anatomy textbooks. Videos of instruction for pretty much any topic.
And with the invention of virtual reality, who knows what we’ll be doing with e-books in the future.
Maybe we’ll be reading our history textbooks while simultaneously walking through the streets of Ancient Rome.
The benefits of e-books have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for students.
e-Books Aren’t Going Away
We’ve not seen a waning in e-book sales since their advent. And we don’t expect this to change.
People haven’t stopped reading. And students will always need the benefits of e-books.
If you’re looking to buy some e-books, check out our massive library.