Even with the rise of e-readers, many college students prefer traditional textbooks to digital books. While most people like the look and feel of traditional books, e-books have several clear advantages. There are several situations in which an e-book would have more versatility than a traditional print book.


The great thing about e-books is that they’re never out of stock and there’s no need to wait for shipping. They’re available immediately for use, which saves time going to the store and waiting in line. While the availability of digital books is growing in higher education, the concept of traditional books remains steady. Digital books make up for 3% of book purchases and that is likely to increase over time.


E-books are becoming more effective than traditional college books. The strongest indicator for an e-book’s use was the interactive experience that it provided. Some students are looking for a “toolkit” rather than an e-book that allows them various pathways to navigate through different topics. Features such as concept maps and videos can help increase their learning outcomes.


It’s no secret that e-books are more affordable than traditional books. Some colleges may even apply a course material fee to offer each student a digital version of the textbook. This payment model reduces the costs of having to purchase college textbooks. It also ensures that each student will receive and pay for the materials.

Role of Instructors

Instructors have an important influence when it comes to textbook selection. College professors have more flexibility when choosing course materials. It’s important for them to choose instructional materials that meet their educational needs while providing the most affordable option for their students. Instructors are finding ways to encourage a digital reading experience. Students perform better on open-ended tests when they have access to course materials and instructor annotations created in their e-books than students who don’t have this access.


E-books are more portable than traditional books. Hardcover books can be heavy to carry from class to class, while some of the best e-readers are designed to be lightweight. It’s easier to carry an e-reader containing an entire semester of books on campus than to bring a physical book or two. If you have your digital e-book collection accessed on the cloud, you can sync your e-books between your e-reader and smartphone.

Traditional books can take up space and make your dorm feel even more crowded. Even the biggest collection of e-books won’t take up much space in your room. It’s easier to manage a digital collection than to have crates filled with college books that you’ll never use again.

No Late Fees

The great thing about e-books is that you don’t have to get them at the library. If you borrow a textbook from the college library and forget to return it, then you’ll be hit with a late fee. Most college libraries now offer e-book loans which makes it easier to manage. If you check out an e-book and forget to return it, then the license will expire. You won’t have to pay a late fee; you just won’t have access to that book anymore.

Built-in Dictionaries

It’s a challenge when you come across a word you don’t know while reading a book. You would have to look it up on your phone or in a physical dictionary. Maybe you looked up the word and still don’t understand what it means. Most e-readers come with a built-in dictionary that allows you to look up the word by tapping on it. The definition will immediately appear with examples so you know how to use that word in a sentence or in certain situations.

Environmentally Friendly

It’s strange to think that an e-reader can have less of an impact on the environment but it’s true. Most e-readers have fewer resources to produce a large number of books. Even though paper can be recycled, the recycling process leads to excess pollution. That’s caused by the sludge produced during the de-inking process, which has a negative impact on the environment.

Can Be Read in the Dark

Studying in the dark is made possible thanks to e-books. Since most modern e-readers are backlit, you don’t need a light to read your e-books. You can read them in the dark when your roommate is asleep. You can also read while your e-reader is charging. This allows you to catch up on your studies in more ways than you would with traditional college books.

It looks like e-books are here to stay for a long time. They offer more portability and versatility than traditional books and provide more benefits that make the reading experience more enjoyable. While some college students still snub the idea of using an e-reader, they offer more benefits than college textbooks. It doesn’t matter how you choose to study. The important thing is that you’re studying in the first place.

Now it’s easier than ever to buy textbooks. College students have the option to buy, rent, or sell their books online. That means they have the option to buy textbooks in hardcover, softcover, or e-book format. They’ll get access to their e-books immediately from their computer, smartphone, or tablet. Renting e-books will save your back and the environment.