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A Comparison of Using E-Books vs. Textbooks

Nowadays, students and instructors have found themselves asking this question. New technology has surely made things easier, especially in the educational setting. Electronic readers are becoming popular nowadays, and because of this, choosing between e-books or textbooks have become a crucial question.

To help you decide, here is a comparison of the pros and cons of using e-books and textbooks for studying.
Pros of Ebooks:
1. Compact
An ebook reader can fit comfortably inside your bag or carry-on without costing a lot of space. Most ebook readers are thin and tablet-like, and there are a lot of available protectors that can strengthen the durability of your ebook reader.
2. Ebook resources can be downloaded for free
This technology did not only made things easier, but also cheaper. A lot of ebook resources come for free online, and you don't need to spend a lot just to get the resources you need for your classes. Free ebook downloads are the gifts to students who wants to budget their allowance without sacrificing their educational needs.
3. More convenient
A lot of colleges and universities are now employing the use of e-book readers in classrooms. Why is this trend growing? It's not for the purpose of appearing snazzier and more hi-tech in the classroom setting, but because e-books proved to be more convenient than the usual textbooks. Instead of having to carry a lot of textbooks while transferring from one classroom to another, students can do with one e-book reader containing all their valuable text materials needed for their classes. It's also cheaper, because students can buy an e-book reader for the price of two or more needed textbooks. It's a great way to save up for more important necessities.
Cons of ebooks:
1. Glare
This is a reality when using a e-book reader. The glare from the screen can sting your eyes sometimes. It's a matter of adjusting the glare settings so it won't strain your eyes.
Plus, when you're reading through an e-reader on a sunny day, the sunlight can make your text unreadable. So you have to choose the venue so you can read your e-book without stressing your eyes.
2. An e-reader can be expensive
E-readers for ebook reading and downloading purposes can be pretty expensive, depending on the brand you've chosen. You have to make a wise investment when buying an e-reader, so it will last you for long. Not only that, you must take extra care to make sure that your electronic reader will last you for ages. Cheap doesn't always mean it's a good value and sometimes, the more expensive ones are for keeps.
3. Has to be charged
What if your e-reader goes on low battery while you're in the middle of a classroom discussion? This is one disadvantage about e-readers; they must be charged.
Now, for the pros and cons of textbooks:
Pros of Textbooks:
1. Cheaper
Texbooks can come in cheaper than having to purchase an e-reader. To save up on your budget, go for second-hand textbooks or borrow some used books from your upperclassmen friends and relatives, if you can. Most of the time, the lessons in your syllabus makes no difference, whether it's from a textbook a few years ago or a brand new one.
2. More available
Textbooks can be found just about anywhere; you can borrow from your library, buy at your university bookstore, find one from a second-hand bookshop, or borrow from someone else. Basically, you can find books anywhere.
3. Easier to read
Textbooks won't give you that glare like how e-readers do. It's easier on the eyes, as long as you have good lighting, and the font in the text is readable.
Cons of textbooks:
1. A burden to carry
Having to lug around a number textbooks while walking around your campus halls can be indeed a hassle. Not to mention that it can strain your arms and back (if you're using a knapsack to carry around your books).
2. Not always available
When you need a book so badly but someone already borrowed it from the library, or you can't find it in any bookshop, that can make doing your assignments a hassle.
3. Books can get easily damaged
When you're careless about your books, they can get dirtied and torn apart. So you have to exert extra effort in taking care of your books and making sure they're always in mint condition.

Now that we made a good analysis between e-book and textbook use in the educational setting, it's up to you to decide. What matters the most is that you're learning something, despite the method of studying and tools used.

Guest post by Lauren Todd. She works at an educational institution and also freelances for a group of uk essay writers. Lauren can be reached through Google+ and also a blog, Almost a Writer.

Education & Tech

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