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Digital Textbooks Prove More Expensive

  (July 19, 2011)

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) July 19, 2011

Dont be fooled by the digital hype this back-to-school season: a recent study by shows that as cool as high-tech gadgets and digital textbooks seem, they are costing students far more than buying and selling old fashioned, hard copies.

CampusBooks, the top textbook price comparison website online, compared the prices of the 25 most popular college textbooks during the spring semester of 2011. Seventeen of the 25 books had e-book options, and in every case but one, the up-front cost of an e-book was cheaper than buying the print version. However, e-books have no resale value. After factoring in the average buy-back prices of printed textbooks, only one of the e-book versions were cheaper than buying and eventually reselling the used print version--and the savings were nearly always in the double-digits.

For example, the textbook Understanding Nutrition by Whitney and Rolfes (ISBN 9780538734653), was on average $111.86 to buy used and only $82.29 as an e-book, a difference of almost $30. However, selling back the book for an average of $63.97 meant that the total cost of ownership was only $47.89 for those students who bought and resold the book. The total cost of ownership of the hard copy was a whopping $34.40 cheaper than the e-book.

Digital textbooks arent just fresh and exciting, they actually look cheaper up front. Students respond to that. But when you consider the resale value of a printed textbook, its likely that the e-book is more expensive. Like rental textbooks, which you have to send back, once your e-book access period is up, you have nothing to show or sell back, says CEO Jeff Cohen.

With the ever increasing number of textbook options, CampusBooks is an invaluable tool for students looking to get the best value, whether that is a digital, used, new or rental textbook. Students are increasingly putting in effort to do their homework, understand their options and save money.

Ive checked out CampusBooks and other comparison sites to buy my textbooks, and every time, rental or downloading an e-book just seemed cheaper and easier. Seeing what I could get back for a used book opened my eyes to how much I was actually paying--and it was a sobering moment, admits Josh Tucker, a recent graduate from the University of Southern California.

The data reported here is available for press via the media contact.

About CampusBooks: was founded in 1998 and has evolved into a leading textbook price comparison website. is viewed by over 3 million students annually. The CampusBooks iPhone and Android application have been downloaded by over 40,000 users. The CampusBooks textbook price comparison tool includes new, used, rental, ebooks, local and libraries and is the most comprehensive in the industry. Additional information about CampusBooks can be found at


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