Paper Books Are Always Better Than E-Books

Technology has become a more prominent role in the lives of everyday students, going from online projects to online homework. Now professors are having their students purchase online books for the classes. While students are saving the environment with having an eBook, there are downsides. For starters, eBooks can require an access code, which can cost anywhere from $50-200 for just five months. That’s too much for one book, especially when students need to buy books for their other six courses.

Researchers Lauren Singer and Patricia Alexander tested how college students of different levels comprehend material using a paper book and an online book. The students were told to read both the physical book and the eBook and do three different tasks after reading. The results concluded that students performed better with the printed edition than the eBook. Even though students believe that they read faster when they look at a screen, they retain more information and comprehend more when they are reading from a printed textbook than an online book.

When using an eBook, there are complications. One is that the website might log you out while you are using the book. Most professors who require eBooks for their classes have their homework due online as well. So, when a student is doing their homework online and the website logs the student out, the student will eventually become frustrated with stopping the flow of doing homework just to sign back into the website every so often.

Researcher Adeel Khalid looked into what college students prefer when it comes to printed and online books, how much they spend for it, what grade levels would prefer online or printed books, etc., and he concluded that college students would rather have printed books than online books. Why? Paper books are more available, affordable, and easier to take notes on.

But with society changing with technology, I won’t be surprised if some colleges switch to just having eBooks for all of their courses. Would that be fair for students who might not have access to a laptop or computer? Probably not. But now that things are becoming more available online, it just might happen.