Electronic Textbooks

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(NAPSA) There's good news for students looking for ways to save, particularly on textbooks. Many are now enjoying the discounts and added convenience offered by electronic textbooks.

The College Board reports that students pay an average of $1,000 per year on traditional textbooks, more than 15 percent of the annual tuition at an average public school.

Fortunately, a growing number of higher-education textbook publishers are now offering eTextbooks as an alternative to the traditional, pricey print texts. CourseSmart, for example, currently offers students more than a third of all college textbooks as eTextbooks at an average discount of 50 percent.

These savings can help students avoid a reliance on end-of-semester bookstore buybacks, which can be significantly less than expected. Lucky students may be able to recoup 50 percent of their up-front costs by selling their texts back to the bookstore, but most students know that they are more likely to get $5 or $10 back, or worse, find they can't sell back the book at all. With an eTextbook, the student saves 50 percent up front and eliminates the burden of trying to sell the book. Savings alone, however, are not the only reason more students are turning to electronic texts. There is also added convenience.

For example, when students are studying and writing papers, instead of searching endlessly through a textbook or a semester's notes for a particular subject or passage, they can use a search function that enables students to immediately pinpoint all references to a particular subject throughout an entire text.

In addition, electronic textbooks share many characteristics with print textbooks, such as allowing students the ability to highlight important passages and take notes. Students can also cut and paste text into study guides, print out important pages and choose between online or downloadable formats to access their textbook.

Many students say there are physical benefits as well. If one big text is heavy, four can be a literal pain in the back. Fortunately for students who use eTextbooks, all they need is a laptop to access the material they are looking for, at any time, anywhere.

On today's Wi-Fi-enabled campuses, laptop accessibility makes it possible to integrate the electronic textbook with other online learning resources, such as Blackboard, library databases, Wikipedia and Google.

Visit CourseSmart.com to learn more.

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