August 10, 2012


For a plugged-in generation, college kids have old-school tastes in textbooks. Even as more publishers offer the choice of buying e-books for classes, students would rather lug around printed textbooks.

“We have found that digital textbooks are still not as popular with students,” said Charles Schmidt, spokesman for the National Association of College Stores.

While the price of e-books can be 60 percent to 70 percent of the paper version, a NACS poll found that 74 percent of students still want print.

That’s because most e-books are simply PDF files of the print book, and renting the paper version is still cheaper, said Schmidt.

“People don’t want to just see a PDF on a screen. They’re asking: ‘Where’s my interactive video? Where are my widgets?’” said Vineet Madan, senior VP of new ventures at McGraw-Hill Education.

Students are used to handling content online, and a plain screen isn’t worth the money, experts said.


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