There is no debate on the significance of textbooks for academic success. However, due to the sky-rocketed prices of textbooks available in the market, it might be a good idea to switch to the digital format of textbooks which are significantly cheaper than conventional textbooks but also have other benefits as well. One can even find free textbooks in digital format. However, like every other invention, reading from e-textbooks might have some drawbacks as well. In this article, we’ll see some of the pros and cons of free textbooks that are generally available in digital format.
The following are some factors to consider while deciding whether free textbooks or e-books are a viable option for you or not.
Why choose e-textbooks?
Following are some of the reasons why you should choose free textbooks or textbooks in digital format:
The convenience of carrying around:
Free textbooks in electronic format can be accessed on multiple devices and can be easily carried around, making them a more convenient option for students and professionals. You no longer need to carry the burden of heavy textbooks with you. All of your textbooks can be accessed from your smartphone or laptop anytime, anywhere.
E-textbooks can be less expensive than traditional physical textbooks, making them a cost-effective option. You can also find a number of online platforms where you can get free textbooks in digital form.
With modern reading apps and tools, it is very convenient to navigate through free textbooks in digital versions. You can easily search for some word in the search bar or jump to a topic or page directly.
With the advanced tools of various reading apps, you can easily use various editing options like highlighting, adding notes, etc., when studying from the digital format of free textbooks which can make studying and reviewing material easier.
Free textbooks or e-textbooks can be made accessible to people with disabilities, such as those who are visually impaired, through the use of assistive technology.
Free textbooks in format are updated more frequently than traditional textbooks, allowing students access to the most recent information.
Free textbooks can have a friendly impact on the environment as they often use low-cost recycled paper. Moreover, free textbooks in e-format do not require paper and ink, which can have a further positive impact on the environment and help save natural resources.
Why not Choose e-textbooks?
The following could be some of the reasons why free textbooks might not be suitable for you:
Preference for physical books:
Some people prefer the feel and experience of reading a physical book, as opposed to reading from a screen. Studies have shown that reading from physical textbooks can help you retain information better.
Difficulty reading from screens:
Some people find it harder to read from screens for extended periods of time, which can cause eye strain or headaches.
Limited access to e-books:
Some people may not have access to free textbooks in electronic formats due to limited internet connectivity or a lack of e-reading devices.
Free textbooks may not be available for all subjects or in all languages, which can be a disadvantage for students and professionals who need specific materials.
Open Free textbooks may not have the same level of quality or accuracy as traditional textbooks, as they may not have undergone the same level of editing, review, and fact-checking.
Physical copies of free textbooks are often available in old editions, which can be an issue if your professor is using the latest edition and it has significant modifications.
Note: If you balk at free textbooks due to their availability in digital format, then there is a way you can get free textbooks in physical form! There is an online platform, SolutionInn, that provides free textbooks in hard copies to students without even charging the shipping cost.
Free textbooks or electronic forms of textbooks have numerous benefits, however, using them is not entirely without demerits. So, there is no definite answer to the question of whether to choose them or not. After considering the pros and cons, it is on you to decide whether choosing them is right for you or not. And you’ll probably have to make a trade-off eventually, based on your preferences.