E-book switch: More problems than solutions?

From The Journal (a student newspaper at Webster University, St. Louis Missouri):

Technology is improving. There is no doubt about that. But with new technology, there is a price. And for Webster University students, that price comes right out of their wallets.

The School of Communications would like to become more eco-friendly and go green. The idea is to completely switch from standard textbooks to e-texts and to have only one book for all of the mass media classes.

This idea is ludicrous. Mass media is a very broad subject, covering newsprint, magazines, broadcast journalism, photography, web design, public speaking and more. How can one book, even an e-text, begin to cover all these media?

It can't.

Not only that, but students must essentially rent an e-text. The average price is $80, and its content is only available for 180 days. Those starting as freshman at WU will spend $640, on average, for e-texts during the four years they are here. Plus, there's no buyback option, and that does not include the price of the reader for the e-texts, which cost anywhere from $250 to $600, unless you already own a laptop that can be used as a reader.

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About Nate Hoffelder (11593 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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