From the University of Rochester’s Campus Times:

… The UR bookstore boasts a new e-reader station where students can explore versions of Barnes and Nobles’ own e-reader, the Nook.  Furthermore, the station highlights new, free software available online that allows students to easily access material from e-Textbook purchases.

e-Textbooks have been available at the bookstore since 2004 and students can rent or purchase them at prices similar to those of standard textbooks.  They can also be purchased online at the University bookstore website.

Nevertheless, there are many practical problems surrounding the use of e-Textbooks on campus. UR Bookstore manager Maria Ferrante noted that, despite the widespread availability of e-Textbooks, the digital forms of many textbooks are much less popular than the hardcover versions. In practice, students who purchase e-Textbooks generally only do so when the bookstore has run out of hard copies and the student is desperate for the material.

“I don’t use e-Textbooks because I like to highlight and annotate in my textbooks — it helps me understand the material better,” junior Cindy Zu said.

Prices can also be a deterrent.

It is more expensive to rent the MTH 161/162 textbook online than it is to rent the hardcover version, despite the fact that e-Textbooks are often praised for being more practical, lighter weight and less expensive than hard-copy textbook alternatives. …

Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the link.


  1. Given the actual choices presented to students (same cost, can’t copy/paste, can’t print, can’t be sold back, etc.), I can’t blame them.

    No hilighting and annotation? I thought that all modern eReaders enabled that, no?

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