Young student with workbook or textbookBooks are portable form of compiled information that aids the learning process of students. Printed textbooks are supposed to be accessible anytime and anywhere the reader needs and wants to. According to scientific studies, reading books is a form of visual processing that enhances learning. Thus, the reference materials have always been deemed as significant resource materials.

The popularity of electronic versions of books has created a dilemma among many readers. E-books are tempting not just because of the overall convenience but also because of the attractiveness of using portable PCs and e-book readers. Are traditional books likely to be obsolete? The pros and cons of using printed textbooks should be considered.


As mentioned, traditional books can be read anytime, anywhere. There is no need to charge a portable PC or find sources of electricity to operate the gadgets. A book can be read for long hours. A reader can take his own pace in reading. He can even pause for some time, take a nap, or eat snacks and immediately return to reading without any hassle. He may not have to restart any gadget, which will be a requirement if he is using an e-book reader or portable PC.

Printed textbooks are easy on the eyes. Readers may not complain about incurring eyestrain after long hours of reading. Staring at the pages and reading the text will not hurt the eyes, especially those that have sensitivity to light. Best of all, traditional books allow readers to take notes on the book pages. Important keywords and statements can be highlighted for easier reference and review in the future. There will also be no problem about illustrations, graphs, or other printed visuals, which may not be properly uploaded of adopted in e-books.


Traditional books are not inherently interactive. When a student is using an e-book through his portable PC, he can easily and simultaneously use the Internet to access other resources that may supplement the information contained in the e-book. Thus, a printed book may not be able to sustain interest and engagement of readers.

Printed textbooks are often disliked because of the small fonts used, which can be difficult if not impossible to read. There is nothing a student can do to enlarge the font size unless he uses special glasses, which can be a source of discomfort. It can also be hard to quickly browse through the text to find important keywords.

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textbooksBuying your college textbooks costs a fortune and after a few months, these pricey textbooks end up piling around your house. It may be tempting to just throw them away but it’s also like throwing away that hard-earned money. College students have discovered a way to earn cash from these old school books. Students selling their old textbooks online is now a trend. They consider this a bonus at the end of each term since they are most likely to earn more selling through the internet rather than in campus bookstores.

With the convenience of online bookstores and payment sites, students get back more money easily. However, online textbook buybacks still have their flaws and common mistakes that most students commit. Even if online sites offer higher for your textbooks, a few mistakes would bring their prices for your textbooks lower.

Refrain from these mistakes to get the best deals for your textbooks.

  1. Lacking supplementary materials – Textbooks with CDs, study guides, software, and other additional materials should be included when selling your school books. Although some companies are not that strict, exerting effort to send the complete supplementary materials in good condition may reward you with better prices.
  2. Selling unsatisfactory textbooks to the company – Companies usually have their requirements regarding textbooks that are considered saleable. Sending textbooks that are in bad shape get rejected, sometimes offered lower prices or even no bought at all. Students should examine their books’ condition before sending them to company.
  3. Rushing the payment – Everyone’s eager to receive their payment, but rushing your payment may arouse some problems. Customers are frequently asked if they would like to receive their money with mailed check or through PayPal. And the expected answer is PayPal. When the payment comes, the students would inquire why there are a few dollars missing. They do not know that PayPal deducts a certain fee in delivering their money. The higher the payment, the bigger fee is to be deducted. It’s recommended to have your money sent in mailed checks. Even if it takes some time to receive them, you can at least guarantee that every cent is paid to you.
  4. Not following shipping rules – If you want your textbooks to arrive at the company in tip-top shape, you must follow their packing instructions or else your textbooks might have higher risks to damages. Textbooks damaged in transit will lead to little money. Read the company’s detailed instruction in packing books to avoid the books from being tampered.
    Avoiding these common mistakes will give you a higher possibility of taking in more cash. Careful and wise students would certainly earn more when they participate in textbook buyback.

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textbooks in book shelvesBecause of the high and still-increasing costs of textbooks, students are desperate for alternatives. Professors, facing the risk of having students without books for class, are becoming more and more supportive of efforts to provide alternatives for students on a budget.

Open source textbooks are emerging as one popular alternative. Open source books are digital learning materials that can be read, downloaded, and used by anyone without violating any copyright. Because of this, there are no huge publishing and printing costs, since these materials are available on any computer or eBook reader. Revisions or reuse are also allowed, which means professors can use these books, add notes and use them for classes. These features, along with being free, make them popular for professors and students alike.

However, with the vastness of the Web, looking for these books, especially ones that are reliable, is not an easy task. There are literally millions of people who can write books without any factual basis to them. Professors need to find eTextbooks that are written by experts in the field.

In an effort to make available a library of good and reliable eTextbooks, universities like the University of Minnesota, who has developed and launched an online catalog of open-source textbooks. In order to maintain the integrity of the books featured in the catalog, professors are paid for reviewing the materials, as well as for using them in their classes. This promotes the use of these eTextbooks in classes, instead of buying printed books that cost a lot. The quality of the books are also maintained, with professors doing the reviews and verification of information that publishers would normally take care of.

The online catalog of the University of Minnesota requires that books have an open license, be complete (not just a chapter) and can be used by the public. The books are not created by these professors, but are just assembled from existing books online – in an effort to save professors and students from having to do an exhaustive search of the Web to find materials.

This step is inspiring other universities hoping to help students and reduce costs on school textbooks. Open source textbooks are win-win solutions for both professors and students. In the future, with more professors and schools helping review materials online and create these catalogs that are searchable by topic or subject, students in the future will no longer go to the campus bookstore but instead, go to their computers and search online for digital books.

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ebooks in tabletTechnology has already changed people’s lives in so many different ways. With the popularity of eBook readers and smartphones, education is also being changed – from a printed book mentality, to a digital textbook one.

Publishing companies have the monopoly on school textbooks, which means, when they raise prices, students have no choice but to just buy the more expensive books. When publishers release new editions, rendering older editions virtually worthless, students with used textbooks hoping to make money on textbook buyback end up losing money. Because of this, students struggling with the costs of textbooks and professors worried about students without books are clamoring for alternative options.

With the development of technology and handheld devices like tablets, eBook readers and smart phones, books are now being released in another form – digital. Cost savings for digital books are obvious – without printing costs, books can get much cheaper. Other than the price, the ease of buying and bringing books in digital form is obvious – instead of carrying a few pounds of books, students just need to bring a laptop or a handheld device containing all the books for the semester.

Schools and companies pushing to increase the number of digital textbooks, or eTextbooks, are pushing to save billions of dollars on textbooks. Imagine, if only 20% of the 120,000 students in California used eTextbooks instead of buying printed books at $150, this equates to $3.6 million in savings. For a single student spending up to $1300 on textbooks per year, the savings are also significant.

Government is also finding ways to make the transition and help students save money. With public funding, digital textbooks of the general subjects are being made accessible to state students. The goal is to provide the digital editions for free to students, and a minimal amount for printed ones. With these measures, students are able to learn more – with eTextbooks easier to browse through. Also, with the cheaper prices, professors are sure that every student has access to the learning material. In truth, some students end up not buying books, or simply sharing books with others because they cannot afford to buy their own copies.

Another beauty of these eTextbooks is the ease of using certain content to prepare study notes specific to the professor’s lesson. Trial editions of digital textbooks allow professors to edit content without violating any copyright laws. In fact, exercises and quizzes are also available to professors who no longer want to create their own.

There is surely a lot of promise for eTextbooks. For example, Apple’s iPad can now create eTextbooks that are not just purely text, but are interactive and dynamic. CourseSmart and other online learning management systems can create everything – from the syllabus to the test. In fact, students who are enrolled in distance education can also benefit, since they are already used to learning with technology. And for the students of the future, printed textbooks may no longer be the norm.

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math textbookStudents have a long list of school expenses. And among these you are aware of, are school textbooks. Textbooks are expensive, everybody knows that. But a student must have their own set of school books in order to survive college. The question is; would you buy new textbooks if you’re going to use them for only a period of time?

When it comes to textbooks, students need to be smart at figuring out the best way to manage their textbook purchases. For cash-strapped students, renting books is a great option. Rather than buying new ones then selling them back, you can rent your school books for as long as you need them. Plus, this move will save you more money in the end!

As a student, you would want to stretch your budget but not sacrificing your learning experience. And one way to do it is by renting textbooks online!

Here are some reasons why you should consider textbook rentals.

  1. Save money – It is cheaper than buying a new or used set of textbooks. You can acquire a new book to rent for only a fraction of the cost of the new one. Sometimes, you save as much as 70% off the price of buying a new book! Just remember to take extra care in handling your textbooks if you don’t want to pay more than you’ve expected for damages.
  2. Less time consuming – Instead of searching multiple websites to look for cheaper book deals, you can head directly to rental sites and get your books. In addition, it even saves time in the end of the process. You don’t need to worry and stress yourself where to sell back your textbooks to earn more cash. With textbook rentals, all you have to do is mail back your textbooks at the end of the semester!
  3. It’s easy! – With the help of the internet, students can easily search rental sites online. You don’t need to visit bookstores to purchase your books. Choose a promising and well-rated site then look up your textbooks needed for the semester. Without even noticing, you found your textbooks in only a few minutes. You even get to skip the long lines in a bookstore!
  4. I still prefer print – More students turn to e-books because instead of carrying pounds of textbooks off your back, they can have them all in just one gadget. E-books still don’t beat print because the selection is limited and in some cases, more expensive (including the price of your eBook reader). Some students also experience difficulty in learning and concentrating. There are a lot of distractions that may arise while using your gadgets or the computer. And it still seems better if you have the good old-fashioned books you can touch, feel and mark.

Quit your bookstore-scavenging practice and consider renting textbooks online. Overall, you will be saving time and money—these things which college students have little of.

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ebook readersTurn-of-the-century technological advances have brought with it many breakthroughs which are very helpful to ordinary citizens, and even the education system is slowly changing to accommodate new ways to pace up with technology. One of them is the new trend of digital textbooks which is presently being promoted by several schools and colleges.

There are many problems which are solved by using e-books. First of which is the expense which students have to bear every year. An average student spends $900 to $1,100 every year for textbooks. This can be a heavy burden particularly in times of increasing tuition fees and decreasing financial assistance. Electronic books are cheaper and some can even be free. There are a number of websites which offer downloadable books with no charge. So if you know where to search, you would likely find a goldmine of free books on the internet.

The environment is also a big issue today. Using electronic books is more green and environment-friendly. It is paperless and therefore it does not entail cutting of trees and other environmental harm that is usually required in making traditional books. Lower production costs also motivate online publishers to offer students and professors lower-cost, and even free, versions of some textbooks.

One of the other benefits students will enjoy is its portability: carrying several books at once will be equivalent to carrying the laptop or e-Book reader to which you stored your files. It also means less clutter on the bag or your study desk while reading for upcoming exams.

Different colleges and universities are already eyeing the possibility of implementing the use of e-books in their schools. E-books are 20-30% cheaper and with universities teaming up with large publication companies, university officials, professors, and students can enjoy even bigger discounts for many titles.

However, there are also downsides to using this new technology. One of which is the question regarding the cost effectiveness of buying e-readers. Some students cannot afford to dish out several hundred dollars for a device, and these devices also have limited life span. Health problem also poses, such as eye strain for those who stare at the monitor for extended periods of time because compared to reading traditional textbooks, e-books are more stressful to the eyes. Students also complain about having hard time to focus while reading off a device which can also be used for games and other applications.

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There are plenty of reasons why college textbooks are expensive. The high cost of textbooks and the skyrocketing tuition fees are the primary concerns of parents and students.

Before the next semester starts, take time to unravel from last semester’s projects and prepare for the coming months. For textbook updates and tips, you might as well read thoroughly and get inside the textbook industry.

Do you want to know the reasons why publishers charged in exorbitant prices? This article will open your eyes to the textbook industry to help you save money.

I know you are excited for the next semester, and probably you are preparing for new set of textbooks to ace you on top of your academic journey. If you were given the chance to compute how much spent on textbooks last semester, the figures are shocking. Isn’t it? College textbooks are not cheap. In fact, an individual textbook may cost you around $100 to $200.

That’s why it is very important to take note of your expenses as references to offset the high costs this fall with alternatives. Highly possible that over $1,000 year for textbooks alone have been spent.

Welcome to the world of textbooks! Textbook market is different from the trade book market where consumers buy the products based on personal choice and freely pay for it. Textbook market was coined by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance as “broken.”

Textbook market resembles the health care market. Doctors prescribe the medicines regardless of the cost. Patients don’t have a choice but to buy it, even if it costs thousands of dollars for recovery.

In textbook market, professors recommend the textbooks, and students buy them, regardless of the cost, to get all the required resources for the whole semester. In that situation, the textbook market is more of supply-driven, producer-centric market, rather than demand-driven, consumer-centric market.

Apparently, with the emergence of digital publishing, the textbook market is finally shifting its gears. Private organizations together with universities and professors are making progress in resolving the high costs of textbooks with advocacy on open content resources and free online textbooks.

Here’s what I have found why textbooks are expensive:

Inelastic demand – students who want to pass the courses have to buy textbooks.

Oligopolistic supply – there is only a handful of publishers dominating the market. They can control the prices of textbooks.

Production costs – college textbooks are printed in highly specialized materials that include reports, graphs, and images. With the low volume of published books, publishers have no choice but to hike the prices.

Universities Operational Costs – college bookstores add a markup price for textbooks to compensate operational costs in the bookstore. A contributor of Minding The Campus mentioned in her essay, “College bookstores, which typically charge some of the highest retail prices, tend to be profit centers for their universities.”

Tight Competition Against Other Textbooks - James Joyner of Outside the Beltway coined this on his blog. The sale of textbooks depends on Professors’ recommendation. ‘What the professor recommends, students buy.’

Many Used Textbooks in Market - publishers have no choice but to release new editions of printed materials because they make no money on these used textbooks. The new publications cost high, but this is the only way to make used textbooks obsolete.

Royalties and Freebies Textbooks - the fact that professors receive free complementary copies of textbooks assigned for each class. Clueless of high retail prices, they recommend these textbooks to students. Professors receive royalty fees from textbooks they have written. Usually they recommend their books to students. This was reasoned out by a contributing author of Minding the Campus.

There is a plethora of reasons why college textbooks are expensive. The list goes on. Apparently, organizations and universities with the intervention from the government are taking steps on how to lower the costs of college textbooks.

Personally, college education is no joke, and parents pay the price for the children’s future. It is how we see things that will change the way we rant about them. College textbooks are expensive if you see them as a requirement. However, college textbooks are worth buying if you see them as investments for your future.

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California passed two bills to provide college students free online textbooks under the approval of state Senate.

College textbooks are tagged at high costs, and students have no choice but to seek other alternatives to offset expenses throughout the semester.

The two bills sought by Senate President Pro Tem Darell Steinberg would require the state to set up bids to create an open-source content for the Top 50 college classes. The bills will allow college students to access the materials on the internet for free and buy hard copies at around $20

Democrat Steinberg said the publishers presently charge “exorbitant” prices on printed textbooks. The alternative resources will help students save money to offset high cost of tuition fees.

However, The American Publishers Association is against the bill and claimed that the publishers had released textbooks online sold at cheaper costs.

The two bills, SB1052 passed the 32-2 together with SB1053, passed a 33-2 vote. The bills are set to the Assembly.

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The gentle life of Elizabeth FryMost college students, especially those studying social sciences, are required to take history as part of their curriculum. But since history is a broad field, it is divided into a number of subfields, and many textbooks are specialized in discussing certain fields only.

For those who need to know better about European history, there are textbooks which cover general history of the area, such as:

  • Europe: A History (by Norman Davies). This book is composed of twelve chapters of European history, covering a large timeline spanning from pre-historic Europe until the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. It also includes maps and information charts.
  • The Penguin History of Europe (by J. M. Roberts). This book is a comprehensive discussion of how Europe was shaped in the last two centuries through the rise and fall of empires, its economic development, religious influences, and its contribution to science.

The United States’ history is also a very lively subject. General US history textbooks recommended for students are the following:

Asia has a very rich and diverse history as well. These are general Asian history textbooks which are recommended for students:

  • A History of Asia (by Rhoads Murphey). The author has covered several areas, such as India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. Rather than focusing on the names and dates in history, he explored the themes and meanings that underlie each culture. He also discussed general history and compared cultures in terms of politics, society, and economy.
  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture (by John S. Bowman). The book provides chronological history of various Asian cultures. This contains covered four major Asian regions (East, South, Southeast, and Central Asia), and discussed 26 different countries, delving on the major developments of each nation.

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number fiveThere are a lot of things on the internet about textbooks. But there are a few that should be shared with students who are on their journey through college.

  1. Books are excellent investments. Going through college, you are definitely going to use tons of different textbooks. You should always take care of them – whether you bought them brand new or you spotted them on a musty second-hand bookstore – during and even after you use them. These books are like coin banks of sort. After you use them, you can sell it out to those who need them. And if you kept them in pristine condition, you will probably get a good deal from them.
  2. There are book exchange programs in school. Colleges and universities are becoming more and more aware of the fact that their students are having a hard time finding the correct textbooks they need, and more importantly, finding cheap college books they can use. Because of these, schools have built online book exchange programs that their students can use to buy, sell, or swap their old books with peers who are trying to find one.
  3. Peer book swapping (or selling) is not difficult. The option to book swapping does not start and end with the internet. Although online book swapping is becoming very famous, there is a larger chance of you finding the book you need right within the university. There are billboards all over the campus which students can use to post about the books they intend to sell or exchange, or even to announce their need for certain textbooks. This might look like a passive and old-fashioned way of book hunting, but it can be effective.
  4. Newer editions are almost identical to the one before it. Of course, there are books which are rewritten entirely because the content have been disproved or replaced in all its essence. However, there are also those publishers which release new books just for the sake of publishing new editions, and therefore, raising new money. Ask your professors if an older edition can be used instead of the newest one. This can save you some dollars.
  5. Refrain buying international edition books. You might have heard for other students that buying international edition of college books can make you save your dollars. The fact is, they do, but for a reason. These editions are most probably smuggled inside the country, and are therefore illegal. It is not a good idea to patronize these kinds of dealings.

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ISBN numberGoing to college is very expensive – and having your own set of textbooks is one of those things that you cannot simply ignore and set aside. An average student spends hundreds of dollars every year just for their college books, but the price to pay can be discounted if you know the right things to do.

First of all, get a list of the textbooks you need for the year. Universities and colleges usually provide lists of books that students need to have for every class they are going to take for the year. You can also ask for the list of books from those who have taken the classes you need, and start preparing earlier. Make sure that the list includes the ISBN number of each of the books you need. This will make the hunt easier, and will ensure that you get the right books.

Go to libraries. Not all books need to be purchased. There are professors who require only certain chapters of books to be read, and you can easily have these chapters photocopied straight from a book you found in your college or local library. You can also go to other libraries after asking for permission to browse through their books.

Look for e-books. Electronic books can be found all over the internet and a lot of them can be downloaded for free. Aside from being a cheap alternative, it is also a lighter option to bringing bulky textbooks to school every day.

Swap your old books. You might already have a mountain of old college books which you do not need anymore. Online book swapping of books is now a new trend for students who want to save on their next book purchase. Many universities and colleges even develop their own online book swapping (or exchange) programs to help their students. Find out if you have one in your school.

Buy second-hand textbooks. It is not wise to buy brand new college books that you will use only for a few months. It is always a better option to look up the internet for websites who sell used books. Look for the ISBN number of the books you need, and you can get your hands on a heavily-discounted book you wanted. Moreover, you can look for those which offer buyback options for the books you purchased from them. With this offer, you can actually sell the book back to them when you do not need them anymore.

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