Many experts are predicting that students are about to embrace e-books as a preferred form of textbooks. But a newly released survey from the National Association of College Stores -- conducted last fall, before the arrival of the iPad -- suggests that the shift had not happened by that point. Rather it found that 74 percent of students preferred printed textbooks and that a slight majority wouldn't consider a digital version. The survey is based on data from 19 campuses nationwide
When I began graduate school, the transition hit me hard. I only graduated a few years ago, yet most of my classes were doing away with coursepacks and printed textbooks. If I wanted to access required articles, I had to download and print them. When it comes to nonfiction, I always prefer the printed version. I cannot read something from a screen. I like to turn pages and mark notes on the margins. It takes time for a new innovation to become ingrained in the college culture. More importantly, students are unlikely to change when the old system works without problems.