Print Textbooks vs. EBooks

In a society that is constantly changing and becoming more and more electronic, many students have made the switch to electronic textbooks (also known as EBooks). Both formats have their advantages:


Availability. A larger variety of EBooks are available to students. Having multiple textbooks stored on one reading device makes studying for assignments and exams a lot easier.

Portability. EBooks can easily be transported from place to place without having to lug multiple textbooks around in order to finish schoolwork. For snline students who do not have a classroom, this can make coursework a lot easier with the ability to take their textbooks anywhere.

Cost. Some paper textbooks can cost up to $200 per book. EBooks are usually significantly less expensive.

Print Textbooks:

Usability. Though EBooks have a lot of advantages, many students believe their usability is lower than traditional paper textbooks. In print, students can mark up the book, write notes in the margins, and easily flip from page to page and find different sections. Though some E-Readers have similar features, it is much more difficult to do so in a quick and user-friendly way.

Distraction. Another advantage to print textbooks is that there are significantly fewer distractions than EBooks allow. The nature of the  “constant connection” of E-Readers allows for a myriad of distractions. With print textbooks, students can focus on the textbook and have the online course assignments and tools in front of them at the same time.

Battery. Print textbooks don’trequire charging in order to function. Students do not need to lug around a ton of chargers in order to access the information in print textbooks.

Durability. A printed textbook’s pages don’t go blank if you drop it!

Though print and EBook Textbooks are available for each course to purchase, UMassOnline also has a variety of EBooks and online resources for student use. Check them out here:

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.