Expert Author Jules Mariano

Every student needs textbooks to get them through college, and with the advent of technology and the development of many devices, the use of electronic books is fast becoming popular. But students should also learn about the upsides and downsides of using e-books.

The Good

E-books are everywhere in the internet. The first good thing students will love about digital textbooks is that a lot of them are readily available in the net, and you can even download free textbooks! There are online communities which provide downloadable books for anyone (some of them need you to register, but most of them are free of charge). Downloading free textbooks will ease the pockets of many students and parents alike.

They are also very portable and take no physical space. You can download free textbooks and store as many books in your laptop or computer as possible. They also save you the messy study area filled with books during exam reviews. When you need to bring several books to school all at the same time, you do not have to drag those paperbacks or hardbound – all you need is your laptop or reader where you stored them.

It is also environment-friendly to download free textbooks. These books need no trees for the pulp, or materials for the ink. Recycling helps, but it is better to help with the decline of deforestation by going paperless. You also do not contribute to fuel consumption because there is no shipping or delivery required.

The Bad

Of course, you cannot use e-books without the proper gadget. And these gadgets, such as readers (Kindle, Hanlin, etc) and laptops do not come very cheap. You would have to dish out several hundred dollars for a good e-reading device. Their dependence on electricity might also prevent you from reading in a place where you do not have an available power supply. They are also susceptible to bugs and viruses.

You can download free textbooks, but there are still a lot of textbooks which are not formatted digitally. Most of the books available are those which are published lately (late 2000s up to present), so if you are looking for something which is published several years ago or older, there is a slim chance of you finding that book on the internet.

Students usually spend hours reading, and reading e-books out of a monitor over long periods of time is not healthy. Those who do might suffer from eye strain and RSI (repetitive strain injury).

Jules Mariano is a full-time freelance search engine and social media marketing specialist and a web developer specializing in web content development. He is the co-founder of VPRO Digital Marketing. He currently writes for BookGator.

BookGator is a social platform where students, instructors, and student interest groups can work together to reduce cost of textbooks and education in general. Visit their site to learn more about how to save more on how to download free textbooks or buy and sell online.