What’s Big, Heavy and Loved by College Students?

bookswithoutbatteries“Easier to read.”

“Ebooks are difficult to navigate.”

“Lack of focus and concentration” with digital books.

These are just some of the reasons given by more than 500 college students when asked about their preference in text book format.

Seven out of ten college students prefer print textbooks over ebooks, according to a survey conducted by Direct Textbook,” notes this press release by the book supplier.

Twenty-seven percent say they prefer digital for textbooks, and a few more said they do enjoy reading ebooks for enjoyment. But by the far the overwhelming majority of these digitally-native students are leaning toward print when it comes time to hit the books. And it shows at the sales register.

“Textbook purchasing trends align with the survey results. According to the Student Monitor, 87 percent of textbooks purchased by students in 2014 were print editions (36 percent new, 36 percent used, 15 percent rented),” the release continues. “Ebooks comprised only nine percent of the market. The remaining four percent was made up by file sharing.”

The Direct Textbook study echoes the findings in other research, including one that we reported on early last year that finds ebooks “distracting” for studying.

Scientists and educators are only beginning to understand the implications of all this research. We now know that digital books results in lower reading recall and memory than print, and comprehension drops when reading on a screen. It’s good to remember as our kids head back to school that hitting the books – literally – is still a critical component of the learning process.

Keep those backpacks handy.