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Should You Buy an E-Reader or Textbooks?

According to Digital Trends, students cannot solely rely on e-readers when it comes to books for school. An e-reader can be used as a supplement to relieve that mound of textbooks in your backpack and save a trip to the bookstore, but it cannot offer you the savings and availability of titles in textbook form. The article takes into account portability, cost, availability, convenience , marking up, color, lending and multifunctions of e-readers compared to textbooks.  Here are some highlights of the article to better help you make your decision this Fall:

Had we bought every single book possible through the Kindle store, we would have saved a grand total of $35.03 for the semester. That’s giving e-books the benefit of the doubt by comparing to only new paperback prices and not factoring in resale value. Other classes might offer more books online, but even if we were able to save double that every semester – $70 – we wouldn’t recoup the cost of the Kindle DX until six semesters in.

The scant textbook selection in e-book libraries will mean that your fancy new reader is more a supplement to your other textbooks than a replacement, and the tiny discount retailers offer for digital books will take years to justify the cost of the hardware. If you just want to get the books you need as cheaply as possible, buy as many of them used as possible, then sell them afterward.

While the e-reader seems to win on portability, convenience, and multifunction; the other factors are far too in favor of textbooks to justify an e-reader as the only means of getting your books for school. Are you using an e-reader this Fall for school? If so, tell us why you like it!

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