Guest Author - Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger
There is no denying that achieving a college education can be very expensive, and when full-time students physically attend universities far from home, they can expect hefty bills each year. In addition to the usual expenses, such as books, supplies, a laptop, a printer, and a phone, they can also expect to pay for daily living expenses, including meals, clothes, furniture, transportation, and entertainment. Due to the fluctuating economic conditions of the past several years, building up a nest egg to pay for a college education can be a bit of a challenge. There are several ways students can reduce college expenses. One way is to buy e-books (aka digital books or ebooks) instead of print-version textbooks for university courses.
Thanks to the invention of the tablet and e-readers, students can now invest in these affordable handheld devices to accommodate their many personal and educational needs. One benefit that tablets and e-readers offer is the ability to download e-books, which are offered at a much reduced price compared to new print-version textbooks. Benefits of purchasing e-books are that they download in a matter of minutes, they weigh nothing, and they are always available as long as students carry their tablets. Standard digital features of e-books include hyperlinked references, instant vocabulary definitions by simply clicking on a word, and highlighting capabilities. Users can even print out e-book sections. Most e-books also have search capabilities as well as sharing options to be used with social media tools.
Two of the most common complaints about e-readers and tablets are eye strain and battery life. Significant eye strain is often associated with long-term reading using tablets and e-readers, particularly on devices with bright back lighting. Users can minimize eye strain by stepping away from their e-books each hour to rest their eyes. Some e-readers and tablets have options for changing the back-light brightness to lower settings; adjusting the screen’s brightness can also help users avoid eye strain. Another complaint is the longevity of e-reader and tablet batteries. Depending on the type of device purchased, the user may need to charge the battery regularly to ensure access to the e-books.
Because this is a relatively new option for college students, availability of all university textbooks in the e-book format is somewhat limited. When an e-book version is not available, another option is to purchase the used version of a textbook. Depending on the condition of the used textbook, the university may be willing to purchase the book back at a reduced cost. With new textbooks, the buy-back options are usually quite good, and some universities even offer a pre-paid mailing label to print out and attach to the return package. Students can research university websites to learn more about book buy-back options.
Distance Learning - Is it Right for You? is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com, or pdf version on BellaOnline eBook Store.
Libraries and Academic Institutions please visit Distance Learning Books for discounts on bulk orders.