Go Commando Guest Post: Textbooks vs. eBooks, What You Need to Consider

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E-learning concept. Digital library - books inside laptop

As you shop for reading material for the fall semester, you might notice the option of eBooks becoming available for many of your courses. While eBooks have been around for quite some time, their availability has been limited. In an ever-growing digital age, eBooks are now becoming more and more popular for two reasons: price and convenience.

Before you make a swift decision based on price, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages between traditional textbooks and eBooks to ensure whatever choice you make meets your needs.


eBooks are often cheaper than traditional textbooks because they are not associated with printing costs which helps keep prices lower. However, if you don’t already have a reader or technology to access it from, getting one will be a hefty expense.

One major advantage of purchasing eBooks is the speed at which it is made available for you to use. You avoid waiting in lines at the bookstore, waiting to have it shipped to you, and it is immediately available at your finger tips.

eBooks are also great because you can adjust the font as needed. You can make the font bigger or change the darkness of the font itself. You can also adjust the brightness on the device you’re reading from which makes reading at night much easier.

If you’re on the go you can take it with you and it won’t take up as much space as a traditional textbook. The convenience of being able to pick up your device and have your whole library with you when you hit the road to your next destination makes life easier.

Turning to eBooks will save your back the strain from that backpack filled with heavy textbooks. You no longer have to worry about storing them in a backpack to and from your classes or having space to keep them at home. Having them on your mobile devices saves space and the hassle of lugging them around campus.


Traditional Textbooks

Resale value
What eBooks don’t have that traditional textbooks offer is a resale value. Much like music, you won’t actually be able to resell your eBooks, however, with traditional textbooks you can resell them at the end of the semester.

No devices needed
Despite how convenient technology can be, traditional textbooks keep things simple. There’s no device needed to access your reading material.

No warranties needed
The sometimes tough reality is that technology doesn’t always perform. If your device is stolen or broken without a warranty you won’t be able to access your material as conveniently as you would be able to with traditional textbooks. Some eBooks might be able to be viewed from another device, but others may be limited to one device.

Textbooks are traditional and with eBooks you’ll never get the experience of the smell of paper that hits you when you open a book or the weight of a book in your hands.

While both eBooks and traditional textbooks have multiple advantages, the decision is ultimately up to you. If you can’t seem to break the mold, but the idea of eBooks seems liberating, some sellers offer the best of both worlds by giving students access to traditional textbooks with accompanying eBooks.

Make your next book-buying experience less painful by joining our free Go Commando app to make some extra cash for your next trip to the bookstore. Go Commando is available in the App Store and Google Play. Simply download the app, sign up and start earning money!

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