Students spent the last few weeks searching the Internet hoping to find the cheapest textbook options. While many students choose to either rent or buy used textbooks, a new option has recently become available: eTextbooks, or digital textbooks.

This option is growing rapidly, as more textbooks are being offered in the e-book format for the student’s convenience. By condensing all of their textbooks onto one device, students do not need to carry 50 pounds worth of books across campus – and can avoid the bloated costs of paper textbooks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report indicating that the price of textbooks has risen 812 percent since 1978, meaning the price has risen faster than inflation. Tuition and fees have increased by 559 percent in that time period, while new home prices have only gone up by 325 percent.

Higher prices are making college students desperate to save a few dollars wherever they can.  Publishers are conscious of the higher prices and are providing more textbooks in the online book format at a cheaper price – and no shipping cost.

Although having your books instantly when you buy e-books is a plus, the downside is that there is no buy-back option for eTextbooks.

Many ENC students still choose to use paper textbooks.

“I do not like reading on a screen. I much prefer to read the paper copy,” said freshman Alexis Young.

Other students, though, are taking advantage of the convenience of eTextbooks.

“I download all of my textbooks online and use them on my iPad. I always have it with me and it saves a lot of space and money,” said Jenny Ferron.

With textbook costs rising annually, students are looking for the most affordable way to get textbooks, and more and more are turning their attention to eTextbooks.