To Read or Not to Read? – The pros and cons of e-books

Staff Writer
The growing popularity of the e-book has some concerned how it will affect college students, book- stores and libraries.
This new technology has become popular among adults and students alike, but people are wondering how they have affected the state of other mediums.
A growing number of college students are taking advantage of e-books in lieu of textbooks. They are easier to transport, cost less than purchasing a regular book and offer user-friendly features such as highlight- ing, defining and note-taking abilities.
Sam Thomas, a sopho- more environmental science major, has his own reasons for using e-books instead of regular text- books.
“E-books are a lot more affordable, and when you go to an institution that is constantly raising tuition that’s important,” said Thomas.
At Piedmont College, however, most students
seem to prefer the tradi- tional books instead of the electronic books, accord- ing to Claudia Barton, the Piedmont bookstore man- ager.
“Students are making decisions about digital- based content on conve- nience more than savings. Trends have shown that students still want books,” said Barton.
Alexis Turner, a senior English major, says that she loves using her Nook with textbooks on it, but some of her professors don’t like e-books in the classroom at all.
“As an English major, I have to write heavily in my English textbooks to keep up with the class. It is hard to do that with an e-book. I have used my Nook with a statistics textbook in it and loved it, but my teacher, on the other hand, did not,” said Turner.
Crossing over the bridge over Highway 441 to the main campus of Piedmont, you will come upon the Arrendale Library. Library staff members check books in and out,
sort through books that have been turned in, wake the unconscious studier, and shush the occasional rowdy teenager. But this might not be the scene we see twenty years down the road.
Though e-books are on the rise, Bob Glass, direc- tor of library services at Piedmont, says he sees no indication that academic libraries and bookstores will go out of business.
“While we may be providing more and more e- books to you, we still have to be here to do that. Also, the library has a very important role to play in helping you understand how to use the things efficiently,” said Glass.
In his work “Book Was There: Reading in Elec- tronic Times,” Andrew Piper says, “We may need to put down the book from time to time, but we should make sure not to let the computer become the new book. The universal me- dium, like the universal li- brary, is a dream that does more harm than good.”