The prices of college textbooks continue to rise; students and textbook vendors are noticing that this is a problem. Students need to save money especially with the price of tuition and the cost of living going up. The vendors want to make as much money as possible, so they don’t mind beating the competition at the price to make up the difference in volume.
Saving Money With Digital Books
Some of the latest money saving tactics that have been introduced are etextbooks and textbook rentals. In the past if a student wanted to save a little on college books they would opt to purchase a used textbook over a new one. Then to squeeze a little more savings out of the purchase at the end of the semester they would sell the book back. The winner in this transaction was usually the textbook vendor. The used texts cost almost as much as the new books, and when they were sold back, it would be for a very low price.
The concept of textbook rentals is similar except the student chooses a rental for a set price and then returns it at the end of the semester. Textbook rental is available at college bookstores and online college bookstores. At the online stores, the student is sent a prepaid shipping label with the original order and then at the end of the semester the student ships the book pack in the original packaging.
Etextbooks are the newest thing, and they are touting everything from saving money to being green, to less wear and tear on students’ backs. EBook readers such as the Kindle, and Sony Reader and
Nook, are all trying to be the chosen reader for etextbooks. The same goes for the netbook market; there are etextbooks in epub format, pdf format, and VitalSource Bookshelf reader format. Eventually, a standard format should emerge, and etextbooks are a viable option, but one standard has not been set.
As far as which one is better they both have pros and cons. The nice thing about both of them is that they save money. The digital text is lightweight and portable and many readers have markup capability and other dictionary functions, plus they can still be printed out. The rentals save money, and you get a real book in your hand, it’s up to you which option best suits your lifestyle.