E-Books?

<p>I was just wondering how many currently enrolled college students buy/rent e-books instead of paperbooks, and what percentage of their classes they would even use the option for. </p>

<p>Are the quantifiable/qualifiable pros/cons to e-books? In theory they seem like a good idea for lower level core courses you would re-sell paperbooks for anyway. I can't see it being an ideal medium for math/sci books or for classes where you plan to keep the books as you build your reference library.</p>

<p>The reason I ask is that I wonder if a reader/ipad device would make a good gift for an incoming freshman.</p>

<p>One concern I might have with E-books is whether or not the professor would let you use them during an open-book test, especially if viewed on a communications-capable device. If they don't allow it, this could put you at a disadvantage.</p>

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I was just wondering how many currently enrolled college students buy/rent e-books instead of paperbooks, and what percentage of their classes they would even use the option for.

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<p>I use ebooks frequently for my accounting courses because they are typically packaged with the homework software (WileyPlus). In this case, "buying" the book is at no additional charge since the hw software is mandatory. IMO, they are convenient to use. But I can vouch that I've been in that situation described above: I've had to complete many open book quizzes without a book. It's not a problem if you study, but many students would be uncomfortable with the disadvantage.</p>

<p>I don't think I would buy a textbook from, say, the Amazon Kindle store. Keep in mind that you can resell texts. If you buy a text used and then resell it as used in the Amazon marketplace, you could easily end up breaking even. There is no resale value to an e-book; the price is a net loss. That said, you get to keep the book. So, I would disagree with you: subjects where you want to keep your books (your major, maybe) are the subjects that merit an ebook.</p>

<p>
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he reason I ask is that I wonder if a reader/ipad device would make a good gift for an incoming freshman.

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</p>

<p>If you do decide to get an e-reader, I would avoid the iPad. It uses an backlit LED screen, which will strain the eyes just like a computer. If you're going to read on an iPad, you might as well read on your computer screen. Many e-readers (Kindle, Sony, Nook) use e-ink, which I've found is just like reading a book.</p>

<p>Anything that can play videos is useless as an ereader. It means it's continuously refreshing the screen hundreds/thousands of times a second. That's what hurts your eyes.</p>

<p>The nice thing about an e-reader is that it should save you money on pleasure reading, too. Many out-of-copyright books are free to read, including most classics. I can't tell you how many great books I've read for free--it's like an in-home library.</p>

<p>Also, a good thing about e-ink e-readers is that they have a far longer battery life than say, an i-pad, when the wireless is turned off (they really only use power to change the page).</p>

<p>I get my books on my kindle when I can. I like to do that because I can underline, highlight, and add annotations right there in the text AND there is a "my notes" thing where you can see a list of everything you underlined and all the comments you put in. That is an ideal way for me to take notes and it would take forever to do by hand, not to mention that I can just throw it in my purse and have all my textbooks with me all the time. It's surprising how much faster homework gets done when you utilize the ten minutes you wait at the bus stop, doctors office waiting rooms, lines at the bank, etc to get things done. The same concept allows me to fit in a lot more pleasure reading than I did before, too.</p>

<p>I chose a kindle knowing the ipad was coming out. I wanted the e-ink technology. Another benefit to it is that you can use it outside in the sun, unlike most computer screens.</p>

<p>I had not thought about the issue of open book tests - a great point, thanks.</p>

<p>I have been talking to a few tech-happy friends today who agree that the ipad is not optimal for e-books.</p>

<p>I've never purchased ebooks. (Libraries sometimes have ebooks one can access online for free). </p>

<p>I prefer to buy my textbooks used and then sell them back. One can't do that with electronic editions. </p>

<p>I don't want another piece of technology that breaks/ needs to be charged. I also really don't want the internet on my device to distract me when I'm trying to study. </p>

<p>Very few of my classes have even had an electric version as an option. I've found that higher level non science/ math courses require several smaller books which aren't heavy. When writing papers from said smaller books I like to be able to have several open at once (instead of switching back and forth). </p>

<p>Princeton did an e-reader pilot using Kindles in some of the classes. The final report summary said:
[quote]
In the focus group discussions, some participants mentioned that not being able to compare documents easily, to flip through them or skim for review later in the semester, made their retention worse than usual. They cited the lack of flexibility and speed of navigation within readings as a major factor in this, as well as the inability to compare documents. <a href="from%20here:%20%5Burl%5Dwww.princeton.edu/ereaderpilot/eReaderFinalReportShort.pdf%5B/url%5D">/quote</a></p>

<p>I download ebooks, but if I can't find them alone, then I'll buy the actual thing (like $200 ***?)</p>

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I don't want another piece of technology that breaks/ needs to be charged. I also really don't want the internet on my device to distract me when I'm trying to study.

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<p>I also typically resist unnecessary technology. But to be fair, if you stay away from the iPad, then eReaders are about as straightforward as it gets.</p>

<p>Mine has no internet. There's 4 buttons--two of which move the pages back and forth. A scroll button lets you highlight, add notes, and defines the word you select while reading. </p>

<p>Very simple. They really avoided any unnecessary crap that would inevitably break down. After all, it's targeting bookworms; we're not known to be technologically savvy.</p>