By Diane Whelan
CCC Journalism Program

Electronic textbooks vs. paper textbooks — Camden County College students say they see advantages and disadvantages to each.

“I prefer physical books all the way,” said Matthew Furphy, an accounting major at the college. “Being able to have the physical copy with me is more helpful then having to worry about the electronic version.”

Furphy noted he felt having electronic versions of books was an extra burden. “Making sure to have the space and storage on my phone is really difficult when I have so many classes,” he said. Having to make sure the phone, tablet or other device is charged at all times added too much of a struggle, although electronic books can be cheaper than paper books.

“The prices of the books may be crazy but I can always return them at the end of the semester and get some of my money back, so I don’t find it to be a complete dilemma or struggle,” he said.

Elijah Soto, an art student at the college, said he favored electronic books. “I think having the electronic version of books is very convenient, being able to take notes in most of the apps is very helpful,” Soto stated. “It also cuts down on some of the prices of some books I may have needed.”

Soto said he has seen prices as low as $20 for an electronic book; whereas, the price of the paper version of the book was $120.

“A lot of the online books I’ve seen and used have activities with them that I can use to help me study and figure out exactly what I’m doing, which I think is really cool,” he stated.

Instructure, an online educational system, points out electronic books have the plus of never being out of stock for students like some paper books may be. On CollegeConfidential, an online community for college-bound students, discussion participants point out not all books are available in electronic versions and many students find themselves being more distracted on their devices when books are on them.

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