Electronic books gain popularity on college campuses

    First it was new textbooks only for college, then used books became popular, followed by renting books. Now, many students are saving money by bypassing paper texts altogether.

    First it was new textbooks only for college, then used books became popular, followed by renting books. Now, many students are saving money by bypassing paper texts altogether.

    Electronic books are starting to gain popularity on college campuses. Mary Alice Diehl runs the bookstore at Rutgers University’s Camden campus. She says there are many ways to buy an e-book for your class.

    “You can go to the vendor and you can download the text directly from the vendor and they aren’t making that available to the bookstore outlet. But then there are publishers who are working with the bookstore when you pay for it you get a password and you can go right to the website and get that.”

    Diehl says e-books are definitely cheaper than a brand-new text, but more expensive than a used or rented book. She says at Rutgers Camden, renting textbooks is the most popular way for students to fill out their required reading lists.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.