Utah college students prefer traditional textbooks to e-books, bookstore officials say

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  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    For text books it is best to avoid the electronic books.

    Read "The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens" in Scientific American and "Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read?" in Time. Apparently the human mind is able to retain information better because of the tactile nature of books. For many majors you may want to keep you text books for future reference. If all you had were eBooks, then you may lose out on a valuable resource in the future as technology changes. Paper text books are immune to changes in technology.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    "I think we are still waiting for that 'iPod moment,' if you will, in higher education," said Tom Hirtzel.

    Mr. Hirtzel is partly right, but not because technology is the problem. Textbook publishers are resistant to making the switch. Why upset a market they are comfortable in, where they make huge profits, charging hundreds of dollars for printed books. The publishers attempts to create ebooks are almost an afterthought, lazy, and end up being difficult to use, and sometimes won't even even allow books to be loaded to tablets such as iPads.

    "You have to always be tethered to the Internet," Hirtzel said.

    Wrong. I have dozens of books on my tablet, several with embedded video, and I can use them without an internet connection.

    "One push of the send button and it can go to hundreds of different people," Girton said.

    It's obvious that Mr. Girton is clueless about digital rights management (DRM)- it's a bit harder than that.

    Girton said, "I don’t see the textbook or the printed book going away." True. But when textbooks see their "iPod moment" he'd better be prepared to find something else to replace those revenues.