Many students download free textbooks as an alternative to college books that they need. But students should also know about certain advantages as well as disadvantages of downloading books online.
Of all the benefits of downloading books is their cost. You can just download free textbooks and save their money instead of spending them on bookstores. There are a lot of readily downloadable books you can find on the internet if you know the correct title, author, edition, or ISBN number of the book you are looking for.
Laptops, tablets, e-readers, and other gadgets where you store your files will serve as your own library. Instead of having a clutter of dusty and bulky books on your desk during exam week, all you need is your gadget and you are ready to go. Bringing several books all at once will not be a chore anymore when all you have to carry is your laptop.
Better readability is also a factor since most e-books can be zoomed in to make letters bigger and easier to read. You are also becoming more earth-friendly when you download free textbooks and go paperless – your books need no more paper or ink and you therefore help in making the world a greener place in your own little way.
However, digital books are not without flaws. While you can download free textbooks of different titles, it does not mean that you will be able to find everything on the net. You might have a difficult time finding electronic versions of books released fifteen or so years ago. There are still a ton of books which are waiting to be transformed digitally.
Also, there is a growing concern among e-readers regarding their eye health. Prolonged reading on a monitor causes eye strain. While other readers have the option to limit the time they read off their tablets, students have less choice but to stare on their screens for hours, reading their digital textbooks, most commonly during cramming hours of exams and papers. Some people also dislike the idea of e-books because they find it hard to concentrate reading off a device with which they can do a lot of things with (a lot of apps!).
Last but not the least, the ‘startup cost’ might be a little high. Unless you already own your own tablet or reader, you might find it expensive to buy a new one – particularly if you are a student who wants to stay frugal.