Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eBooks vs. Textbooks -- What to Do?

So, yesterday I sat through hours and hours of parent seminars for the Princess's new adventure in college. Textbooks are, of course, one of those areas that can blow a budget out of the water, and it also seems to be one of the easiest areas in which to cut costs. Reviewing all of the information it seems like we have several options:

  • Buy New (NOT gonna happen)
  • Buy Used (also unlikely)
  • Rent the Hardcover (bookstore or other source such)
  • Buy the eBook
  • Rent the eBook
Of course to have the eBooks you have to have a device to read them on, so then you have to choose among the devices. Kindle or Nook?

The school bookstore is a Barnes & Noble, so of course they were pushing the Nook. However, it seems the Kindle has many of the same options after browsing over it. So, then of course we are looking at which one.... given that there seems to be "only" a $120 span between bottom of the line and top of the line, one then has to decide on which option.

So, please... give me your thoughts! What are your experiences with either device? Has your student (or you!) used the eBooks instead of traditional textbooks? Pros, Cons?


  1. Either is good. I have a nook and I love it, but I know others prefer the Kindle. Both have their pros and cons. The one nice thing about the nook, is that for pleasure reading, she can use the nook to read any book while she is at the local B & N store. However, their free Friday book selection sort of has been lack luster. As for the type of nook, either go with color or the tablet style.

  2. As a recent college grad I would say buying them used from amazon or half was the best bet. 1. You can resell them after the semester for just as much as you paid for them. 2. Reading an e-book gets annoying (no highlighting or saving pages). I also want to mention that the book isn't always required so waiting to get it after the first class is the best bet. Hope this helps.

  3. My daughter used one ebook this year and hated it because she couldn't make notes or highlight and things like htat. We mostly do amazon but someone at her college started a facebook page for students who were looking for books or selling books and really that worked the best.

    good luck :)

  4. My son has used a couple of e-books, but he was a IT major so I think he used them more for reference and I don't think e-books was his first preference. Never buy from the college bookstore - even used are more expensive than elsewhere. Amazon got a lot of my money the past few years. My best tool for finding where the books were cheapest (new, used or rental) was www.dealoz.com. It saved me a lot of $$