Although there are a lot of advantages to using e-books in school, including the convenience of not carrying around 20 or 30 pounds of books, there are some disadvantages as well.
Harder to Make Notes
When you’re reading a book on your e-reader, you can’t just take a highlighter and mark the important passages. It is possible to take notes on e-readers, but it’s not as easy or convenient as a regular book and everything has to be typed out, which is slower for most people. On top of that, if you’re looking for highlighted sections in the book while studying for a test, e-readers aren’t as easy to “flip” through and often the whole page is not shown causing you to constantly scroll through each page looking for notes.
Can’t Sell Back
Although textbooks cost students hundreds of dollars each semester while earning a degree on campus or an online degree, one benefit is that at the end of the semester, students can sell them back. Typically it’s only for a small percentage of the price, such as 40 percent or less, but at least some of the cost is recouped and can be applied towards the next semester of books. Electronic versions of the book can’t be sold back, however, so even if the student paid less for the book, it’s likely to cost more than the physical book minus the sell-back price.
Overall, it seems that the textbook publishing industry needs to work better to make electronic textbooks worth buying including making it possible to sell the book back at the end of the semester.