College Services Magazine: e-Textbooks Gaining Ground

March 11, 2011

College Services coverEven for a generation of college students that has been weaned on technology, the transition to digital textbooks has been slow. Since 2003, less than one percent of all textbook sales were digital. But as Jade Roth, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers Vice President of Books and Digital Strategy, points out in the latest issue of College Services magazine, that number is beginning to change.

Jade Roth, Barnes & Noble Vice President of Books and Digital Strategy, addresses the future of eTextbooks in her article “Digital Textbooks Gaining Ground” in the Spring 2011 issue of College Services magazine.

Last year, 14 percent of college students purchased a digital product and our bookstores recorded an astonishing 3,000 percent increase in eTextbook sales. So, what changed? Technology, like NOOKstudy™ is finally giving students the functionality that they both want and need. As Roth points out, “Suddenly the lower-cost eTextbook is a rich, robust, and interactive learning experience.”

The Future of eTextbooks

Looking to the future, an increase in eTextbooks usage may be accelerated by President Obama’s promise to invest in the digital age – pledging to “bring high-speed wireless Internet to 98 percent of Americans within the next five years,” thus better enabling students to “take classes with a digital textbook.”

Industry projections anticipate 60 percent of textbook titles will be available in a digital format by 2014. This will provide even more options and significantly increase the number of students using digital textbooks in the future.

The end of printed textbooks is not likely to happen any time soon, but it is clear that the digital format, with its low cost and cutting-edge multi-functionality, will only grow in popularity.

College Services is the quarterly magazine of NACAS (National Association of College Auxiliary Services). Visit the College Services magazine online to read Roth’s article in its entirety.

NOOK Study

NOOK Study, Barnes & Noble’s free eTextbook reader and study application, allows students to highlight, take notes, view multiple books simultaneously, access online reference tools, and download supporting content – all in one convenient place. This type of enhanced functionality has made eTextbooks a far more appealing option for students – helping fuel the dramatic growth of this digital format.

Top 5 Features of NOOK Study As Rated By Students:

  • Reading controls (page zooming…)
  • Finding terms in a book
  • Creating highlights and annotations
  • Reviewing previously created highlight and annotations
  • Managing digital library