Give up sex to not lug college texts?

To avoid toting heavy textbooks, one in four college students would give up sex for a year — or so they said on a survey by Kno, an education software company.  One third would take 8 a.m. classes every day; 28 percent would rather have parents visit every other weekend for a year than carry textbooks daily

That said, it’s no surprise that 71 percent said they would use digital textbooks through apps on tablets, laptops and netbooks. If students could access textbooks from anywhere without having to carry them around, about 62 percent said they would study more often and 54 percent insisted they would study more efficiently.

Or so they said. Nearly half predict physical textbooks will be obsolete in the next five years. That’s probably correct.

Amazon now rents textbooks on Kindle e-readers. Students can download free Kindle reading apps for various laptops, netbooks and smart phones.

Kindle Textbook Rental gives users up to 80 percent off the list price of a print textbook. For example, accounting textbook Intermediate Accounting is available through Amazon for $183.53 in hard cover and buying it through Kindle for $109.20. However, it’s listed for rental on Amazon for only $38.29.

As a relatively new Kindle user, I don’t think it’s as easy to read as a book — especially a textbook. But the convenience and cost savings of rentals are bound to attract students.

About Joanne


  1. 1 in 4 is probably pretty close to the percentage of college students who are celibate. 40% of females start college as virgins and 1/3 of those still are by graduation. At Harvard, So there’s 10% right there and there are probably another 10-15% who, while not virgins, are still not having sex on a regular basis.

    It’s easy to give up something that you’re not doing in the first place.

  2. Somehow one of my sentences got eaten. It should read, “At Harvard, 50% of the students report being virgins.”

  3. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Physical textbooks — the giant 500+ page kind — were never a really good idea to begin with, at any level of education.

    I’m glad to see they are heading to extinction.

  4. I’d agree…though most of my technical books routinely push 400 pages…but it’s also useful when you need to find something out and your e-reader isn’t around (or laptop, or google, or…)

  5. banjo pickin girl says:

    I wonder how this would work with an organic chemistry synthesis or spectroscopy text, for example. Maybe there are fields where the big fat textbooks will stay. I use the Kindle mainly for things that can be read all the way through or for things that you can easily look up with the search function. I can see a whole lot of hassle with that in some fields. It will be interesting to see how this is solved. Or maybe it won’t be and people will have to put up with something that is less useful.

  6. “If students could access textbooks from anywhere without having to carry them around, about 62 percent said they would study more often and 54 percent insisted they would study more efficiently.”

    I really don’t buy that. Nothing’s stopping them from carrying around their notes and/or study cards (both of which should be relatively lightweight, anyhow), and they’re not doing that now. They’d still have to lug something (iPad, smart phone, whatever) to be able to access their textbooks.

    Personally, I don’t like ebooks. At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I hate it when user’s manuals, et al, are made available solely as a PDF. They’re hard to read, hard to skim, and hard to flip through if you have only a vague idea of what it is you’re looking for or (as is often the case when you’re troubleshooting). And I find it more difficult to recall where the information is when I finally do manage to locate it – with a regular book, I tend to remember where a piece of information is by recalling its position on the page, and in the book (e.g., XX was in the top half of the left-hand page towards the back of the book – so I can easily skim that area until I find again what I’m looking for – no can do with a stupid PDF). Plus, I’m not sure that overreliance on things dependent on batteries (which have toxic components) are ecologically better than paper books, which can be recycled.

  7. Sean Mays says:

    Not to mention that one good EMP and all the data and electronics go splat. No thanks, paper please.

  8. James Martin says:

    Hmmmm….carrying weight. Might be good exercise…..soldiers in the field routinely carry over fifty pounds of gear. However, if you are a fast and very perceptive reader, and want to go back several pages, and know what yoo are looking for, a textbook is an advantage. It is much easier to flip through if you remember where the paragraph is that you want to review (back two pages, left side, center of page.) This is more difficult unless you have absolutely the best and fastest technology. And, for the test, you need to know the material without a text. Short novels like “Catcher in the Rye” are easy to recall, as you know what and where is the book certain important items were described. A well-read textbook is like reading an atlas….an ebook can be more like depending on a GPS….

  9. I wonder what the profit margin is for Ebooks compared to regular texts for the publishers? If its anything like the $10 Kindle books I’m guessing its huge.

    And now there’s a “study” that comes out supporting their use.

  10. Michael E. Lopez says:

    I should clarify: it’s not that I’m against paper books, or anything. I LOVE paper books and am hesitant to adopt ebooks. (Though I’m warming to the idea.)

    But there’s no reason for a 500 page textbook — not even in sciences.

    Break it up — more, smaller books. Math classes do this all the time. We already separate O-Chem and P-chem into different classes. Why not separate P-chem into four different textbooks?

  11. I personally do not understand the appeal of E-readers, to me they are clunky, difficult to read from, and do not impart the joy of holding a book.