Why Students Prefer Digital Textbooks

Digital textbook adoption is a hot topic in higher education. Tablets, laptops, and smartphones give students the ability to study without all the extra bulk in the backpack. Continue reading “Why Students Prefer Digital Textbooks” »


Digital textbooks have been a hot topic in the higher education space for a few years now. The accessibility of tablets, laptops, and smartphones give students the ability to study without carrying an extra item in their backpack. Now that you can buy an Android tablet for less than the cost of a business textbook, a lot of students are wondering why they’re slaves to the university bookstore.

In reasearching digital textbook adoption, we found this fantastic infographic by Schools.com.
Students prefer digital textbooks

73% of college students would go to drastic measures to avoid carrying another book, including taking 8am glasses every day for their college career or giving up dating or sex. Many students carry more than 20 pounds of textbooks on a typical day, which is like carrying a car tire everywhere you go. And even when you’ve got your textbook with you, some books have missing pages and incorrect information, which means you’re lugging it around for nothing.

In addition to the inconvenience of physical textbooks, they’re not easy on the wallet. Even with student loans and grants, the college bookstore takes a significant bite out of the budget. Students cut back on their monthly expenses, and some forego movies, concerts, travel, and food to pay for books.

As you can see from the infographic, many students are ready to make heavy, hardbound textbooks a thing of the past. 71% of students would prefer to use digital textbooks on a tablet, smartphone, laptop, netbook, or desktop computer instead of a paper textbook. 62% say they would study more often, and 54% say they would be more efficient in their studies.

In addition to losing the bulky books, you can also leave your notebooks at home. Many digital textbooks have the ability to add ‘layers’ right on top of each page. You can take notes, add drawings, write questions, and work out problems, and have them available at your fingertips. You don’t need to keep a separate notebook or binder for classroom notes, homework, or miscellaneous school-related work.

How do you read your textbooks? (choose all that apply)

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  • http://www.controlmousemusic.com/ Michael

    With data on the desire for digital, why the delay in adoption? I wrote a piece on this in Publishing Perspectives last week: http://bit.ly/UnrealizedPromise.

    I believe that when publishers start to offer a good digital product at a good value, you will start to see rapid digital uptake.

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