Why paper books?
What about digital e-books?
Despite many advances in technology, hard-copy paper books still seem to be the best medium for educational purposes.
Remember how LP records, microfilm, television, cassette tapes, CD's, DVD's, VHS tapes and the PC were
each in turn going to replace books?
Remember the predictions of the forthcoming "paperless office"?
Studying techniques such as making margin notes, underlining and highlighting are much easier on paper.
Books are durable, portable, comfortable, and readable:
Durable: Books are rugged, can be dropped, thrown, get wet (somewhat), stood on, sat on, and need no power source.
Books can be carried in a backpack (even LRS Large Print School Books),
stored in a locker or a desk, read on the bus, in a car, on the beach, in the
bathtub, on a plane, on a camping trip, and need no power source or
Comfortable: Books are familiar; easily recognized,
understood and used; no special formatting or computer language
required. LRS Large Print School Books look the same as everyone else's
school books and so students who use them don't feel singled out as
Readable: It has proved to be much easier to read paper copy than
from a computer screen. Most people print out emails more than a couple
of pages long. Science Daily even detailed a report that reading books on paper is better for children than from a computer screen.
What about digital textbooks?
There are an increasing number of colleges using digital textbooks, and
several Middle and High Schools have adopted these too, though
primarily these are private schools. Aside from the above, a number of issues have prevented
Digital does not mean
free. Just because the books are downloadable and need no printing and
binding does not mean that the books are free, or even substantially
cheaper. The primary cost of producing textbooks is the content, not
Time limits. Most digital textbooks have a limited life to prevent re-selling and to reduce the risk of piracy.
Ability to print. One of the most common complaints from users is that
they are not able to print out pages of the digital books. This feature
is often disabled to prevent multiple copies being made and to avoid
piracy. Ironically this also demonstrates that students often prefer to
read hard copy rather than from the screen.