By Ashley Charles
Western Sun staff writer
College textbooks can easily break the average student’s bank, often costing up to $200 for one paper textbook. In order to cut out some of the cost, Golden West College students are turning to digital textbooks instead.
“This semester we had nearly 100 courses that offered at least one of the required textbooks in the CafeScribe digital textbook format,” said Brian Morris, GWC bookstore manager. CafeScribe is a part of the Follett Company that runs the GWC on-campus bookstore, and also offers book rentals online.
With technological advances in computers, mobile phones, and even the publishing industry, student access to electronic textbooks is becoming easier. “We are constantly working with faculty and publishers to expand our digital selection,” said Morris.
While Morris says print textbooks remain in higher demand, “tech-savvy students who are looking for up-front savings and the added bonus of a lighter backpack are really embracing digital.” CafeScribe has also recently created a mobile app to “offer seamless mobility across multiple devices — maximizing study freedom,” described Morris.
“I use my Android and iPad to read my textbooks,” said Jennifer Smith, a freshman chemistry major at GWC. “It’s easier because when I commute on the bus I don’t have to lug around my heavy books and I can comfortably catch up on reading without bothering other passengers.”
As for technical difficulties, Smith says, “I have them. Some days my e-book won’t open unless I’m doing a math problem from the homework and it irks me, but I use my notes until I figure out how to pull the book up.”
However it seems that the pros of purchasing e-books outweigh the cons, from ease of use to cost. Smith, who is enrolled in 18 units this semester, saved $200 by purchasing e-books for her biology, math, and history courses instead of costly paper textbooks.