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Some students switch to e-books

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Michael Phillips
LV Life Editor

With all the technological advancements, it is not surprising that technology at last has come to the aid of students with less expensive textbook alternatives.

Electronic books, better known as e-books, are gaining popularity inside and outside of the classroom.

Outside of the classroom, Kindles, Nooks and many other e-book products have proved to be quite successful.

Millions of people own Kindles and owners read a lot.

According to Computer Business Review, when sells both print and electronic editions of the same book, the company sells six Kindle books for every 10 hard copies.

The textbook trend is similar. To defray the cost of textbooks, many students are using their computers, iPads and e-books to gain access to their textbooks in electronic version.

“I’m a math major so if I would have bought all my books it would have cost a thousand dollars,” junior Courtney Thomsen said.

Thomsen chose to purchase an e-book for her physics course, because the hard copy cost $250 while the PDF was about $50.

“I definitely would purchase another e-book. I can have it with me at all times instead of a giant book and it’s so much cheaper,” Thomsen said.

At the University bookstore, science books average around $200 to $250 while math books average around $150 to $200, not including the required workbooks and other materials. Many textbook publishers often generate newer editions of their books with minimal changes each year forcing students to purchase the more expensive edition.

To combat rising costs, the ULV bookstore has offered a book renting program as well as the e-book program. The bookstore carries many electronic books that are compatible with most e-book technology.

The La Verne Bookstore site urges students to skip making a trip to the bookstore altogether and instead use e-books.

The bookstore website offers more than 40,000 e-titles and offers them at cheaper prices.

“I think it’s a good option and it’s a great way for students to save money because these texts are expensive and they’re always changing them,” said Michael Kinney, adjunct professor of biology, said.

Students on campus say some of the advantages to using e-books are lower prices, the ability to share with friends and that fact that e-books are environmentally friendly.

Carrying them around is also less of a hassle – and users can have access to text virtually anywhere.

“If a book and an e-book were the same price, I’d probably choose the textbook because I could sell it back at the end of the semester,” Ngoc Bui, junior behavioral science major, said.

The disadvantages are that e-books cannot be sold back to the bookstore, you may have to print out copies of pages for class, the file sizes are sometimes very large and traditional books are usually easier on the eyes.

However, many devices now offer e-book applications especially smartphones.

“It might be a little inconvenient since you can only comfortably read one page, but saving that extra money overrides that small inconvenience,” Arnold Banuelos, computer science major, said.

Michael Phillips can be reached at

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