One major change this past school year in classrooms around the country was due to the suddenly affordable e-readers. I love to read so even before e-readers were popular I owned an original version of one. It made sense for me to pay a bit more for my e-reader when it offered much less expensive book prices, and in some cases free books. Now, thanks to the level of competition for e-reader companies, they have had to greatly lower the prices of their devices so as not to lose customers for their books altogether. This means that this past holiday season many happy book lovers found e-readers in their stockings. When I returned to school from winter break, almost everyone in my english classes had one, and those that didn’t professed their undying love for traditionally bound books with textured pages and the smell of inked paper. I love traditional books too, but buying an e-reader gave me many important advantages that I could not let pass me by.
E-readers are especially important for students of all ages, because suddenly required texts are not as expensive as they once were. As an English major, you can imagine why not having to pay the regular price for all my books was a blessing. Also if texts were somewhat old, but not classics they tended to be less than a dollar to purchase. There are some downsides of course, and one of these was that you couldn’t sell your text back at the end of the course. You may have gotten a discounted price, but you had no chance of making that money back. This is still better than the many websites available for renting books because for those books you pay a price and are left with nothing. Some of my textbooks were worth having copies of so I didn’t regret getting them. The other more frequently mentioned issue is that readers do not have the availability of books that a bookstore does, because ebook databases are still catching up. This is only a small problem in my opinion, because since I bought my first e-reader there has been a major improvement in the availability of the books I want. I rarely ever find a book that I cannot get some version of online.
As far as the upcoming school year, I think the amount of e-readers in classrooms is only going to increase with time. They are a great way of cutting down long term expenses and their many pluses outweigh their few negatives.