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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Textbooks are so yesterday

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Do you ever get that feeling of immense stress weighing you down in hundreds and hundreds of dollars? If so, it sounds like you’re probably a college student needing to purchase textbooks at the beginning of the semester.

The price of textbooks are astronomical these days, and I have felt extremely stressed out and anxious at the start of each semester since I started at Chico State. This is because in the first few weeks of class students are expected to buy their required textbooks, and once it all adds up we realize we’re down a few hundred dollars.

Of course, I know textbooks are (almost) always necessary for classes and it’s ridiculous to call for a complete throw out of all textbooks. However, I think the way we go about this whole textbook thing could be improved.

Many professors require their students to buy the newest edition of the textbook, which is the most expensive option and can sometimes only be purchased in the student bookstore. The books sold in the bookstore are the most expensive, even if you’re just trying to rent a used book. I always appreciate a teacher who recognizes how expensive this is and allows students to use an older version we could rent or buy online.

Another hugely helpful tool this semester has been the option of “e-books” or electronic textbooks. These are only provided online – no hard copy of the book. I’ve found this to be the most successful, easiest and cheapest alternative to the pesky problem of over-priced textbooks.

For one, making the shift to solely e-books is a great way to conserve paper (save the rainforest and all that, right?). E-book options are also a lot cheaper in comparison to in-store purchase of hard copies, which end up being big, huge weights that you have to lug around. It’s so much easier to be able to log into my computer and have my book readily available online.

Most of the classes I’m enrolled in requires students to buy some kind of online package for homework, quizzes and lessons. These are the websites that the e-books come connected to, which actually helps me so much on homework.

With the option to click back and forth between the e-book and my homework, the entire layout and process is simplified. Also, these e-books generally come with tutorials, PowerPoints, graphs and other learning tools that a regular hard copy would never have.

So if you’re like me and absolutely can’t stand overpaying for hundreds of pages of wasted paper, make the transition to e-books! We’re really lucky as college students in this generation to have access to a tool like this, and I say we take it – both for the educational and financial benefits.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.

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    Brittney // Feb 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Being a college student, I like to save every way I can. has given me access to thousands of student discounts, free events, and their textbook save engine has been a life saver this semester.