Why Students Are Going Digital

Walking around our university partners campus’ the past couple of weeks and talking with loads of students about what their intentions are when it comes to buying their textbooks we heard the same question over and over again: “Do I buy digital textbooks or printed textbooks?”


There is no question that 1st and 2nd year students are now more than prepared to make the change to digital textbooks, if it’s a change at all? The common thread amongst the newest university admissions is that ‘digital textbooks are the norm’, with the majority of them completing their entire high school education on their MacBooks and iPads. Sure, there were a lot of students who said they only purchase print textbook but I was more surprised about the amount wanting digital copies. The main reasons for going digital were:


  1. Mobility: Digital textbooks mean you always have your textbooks with you and that doesn’t mean lugging them around in your backpack.
  2. Cost effectiveness: On average a student can cut around 40-60% off the cost of each textbook when buying the digital version.
  3. Green Thumb: No trees are required to create digital textbooks, which is a big tick for uni students these days.
  4. Crl+F: No need to go through the index pages or page flicking to find a specific paragraph. Crl+F helps students find keywords and phrases in an instant.
  5. Automatic Referencing: Well actually, this is a plug for MINDink but when we explained to students that MINDink automatically references student’s notes, using Harvard Referencing style, they were pretty excited about that… of course.


Now we’re obviously a little biased and think digital textbooks are the way to go, although it seems that we’re not alone. Sure, you can’t resell your digital textbook when you’ve finished your course but with print textbooks you still need to part with your hard earned cash to begin with. Like most things there are pros and cons for both formats, yet with improved accessibility and future university students being digital natives, digital is looking to become the format of choice over the coming years.