Web Culture

The Textbooks Of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 21-09-2011

The Textbooks Of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC] ipad As someone who has just bought an iPad, I can personally appreciate its potential to become the dominant force in the digital book wars. PDF and ePub files can be uploaded instantly, and then annotated with your stylus pen or finger. Let’s face it, if you were a student, what would you rather have? 10 heavy textbooks or a thin much lighter iPad? According to this infographic by OnlineEducation.net, 1 in 4 students would prefer digital books so much that they would give up sex for a month in order to get them. Now there’s some dedicated fans for you.


One figure I am not entirely convinced about is the assertion that digital books are on average 53% cheaper than print books. When I owned a Kindle last year, I used to compare a lot of book prices to see the price difference between the print version and the digital version. What I found was that there was not a lot of difference in price, nothing that would make me go “wow!”. 53%? I think that might be slightly on the optimistic side.

What do you think? How soon do you think it will be before we see an all-digital book world? Are you more into digital books or print books? And what do you think of this 53% figure? Does it sound about right or do you think digital books are one big expensive rip-off and fad? Sound off in the comments below.


Image Credit : ntr23

Related topics: Ebooks, Infographic.

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  1. Graha0921
    October 2, 2011 at 2:39 am

    My own view on this is that this process could be extended into the business world as well, why is there a need to have lengthy specifications published on paper, operating manuals that need to updated and accessed on a daily basis, there are many training applications in the business world. Education is the first step, if you can get the students to work in this environment before they go into the business world we have won half the battle.

  2. Ntnisaias
    October 2, 2011 at 12:50 am

    I am studying a career on line and I always print the lessons I prefer looking on paper rather than in a computer because it hurt my eyes.

  3. Gregory Quinlivan
    October 1, 2011 at 2:41 am

    It seems to me that this infographic is centred mainly around the United States which, despite it's wealth, still only accounts for around 6% of the world's student population (assuming uniform representation of student numbers in the general population of each country).
    The larger picture is that most of the world's students live in poor circumstances, don't have these devices, don't have regular Internet access and have no real alternatives to using textbooks (if they can afford them in the first place).
    While I welcome the move away from paper-based materials, particularly as they impact so much on the environment presently, and the greater opportunities for interactivity offered by smart devices like tablet computers, I think the change outside of wealthier countries will be much more gradual.

  4. Dobbiel13
    September 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Ebooks have become a rip off, no real manufactoring cost, delivery or transport cost and no storage cost yet you can pay full hard copy prices. Ebooks have their place but I personally do not like to use ebooks for study as you can not cross reference that easy. Sometimes I could have 3 or 4 textbooks open at one time. I love getting my Linux magazines in digital format and the number of free ebooks you can get now Is amazing. We still need both formats and will for a long time yet.

  5. mikefive
    September 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    A couple of studies out indicate that the using of e-textbooks result in lower retention of studied material (more studies need to be done).  Also, backtracking in an e-book to reference previous material is difficult.

  6. Roy
    September 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    textbook publishers would love this idea, as their ultimate aim is to force us to "rent" the textbook at exhorbitant prices. Are e-books cheaper than print? Not really.

  7. LucyJ
    September 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I like being able to search for text in my textbook, finding keywords faster.

  8. TabletinaMinute
    September 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I have bought "rented" my textbooks on iPad this year and I love the experience. It is so quick to use and nice to not have to take big books around everywhere I go.

  9. Cell Travis
    September 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I don't see much value in simply porting textbooks onto the iPad. Unless, of course, those books have extra interactivity features that add value to the whole "ebook experience". For reading material to elicit any kind of purpose from a multimedia-rich device like the iPad, the idea of textbooks itself has to evolve.

  10. Sessastorm
    September 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Maybe if there was a way to sell your copy of electronic book, I would think about it. But I can usually find my paper books at the same, if not cheaper, than the eBook. Not only that, but I am able to sell it after I use it and end up only paying about 20%, if not less, of the retail price for a book.
    Plus with up to 8 hours a week reading textbooks for class, reading off of a screen would hurt your eyes more than off of a printed book.
    And also who actually hauls all of their books to class with them. Usually the teacher just lectures anyway. Textbooks are usually only meant for reading and homework assignments.

  11. Kevin Hsmmack
    September 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    The 53% figure *may* be for actual textbooks. I have not seen anything close to that for general- use or fiction books.

  12. Jason Parris-Oswald
    September 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I may be a little old hat but I will personally hate to see novels go digital. Textbooks and non-fiction books sure, but I love the feel of paper and sitting down with a good book.

  13. Andrewskyworker
    September 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    digital PDF  file difficult to remember than book while i am learning,

    Book give me feel and remember page but reading PDF file give only blank in my brain