December 31, 2017

Traditional Versus Electronic Textbooks | Advice & Considerations

I'm a person who loves books. I read a new book about every two weeks or so. I love getting lost in storylines and characters. About three years ago, I started graduate school and started using electronic books (e-books) in my courses. As time went on, e-books started becoming a big part of my personal reading life as well. I own MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and Kindle devices. All of which offer many platforms for reading. With the convenience of technology, I no longer need to carry around heavy books and trust me, medical books are getting larger and larger. For example, I've recently completed the first part of my acute care nurse practitioner program. We use two textbooks, the Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice, and the Roberts and Hedges’ Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. These books are quite heavy (three separate books total) and carrying them around just isn't possible with my current shoulder injury. I work full-time, and I go to school full-time. I must read when I'm not at home often (during my breaks at work). 

The exams in my graduate school program usually require 10-15 chapters of readings per exam, with a minimum of six exams per course. That equates to about 60-90 chapters in one course alone. My son has autism, and he requires my undivided attention when I'm home. Yes, I'm one of those nurses who carries around a ton of things while at work and my electronics are always with me. Every spare second I have, I'm studying or doing research on something. I've noticed that publications tend to offer a free e-book copy with the purchase of a traditional textbook. Which is amazing because it's a two-for-one. You get the traditional textbook, in case there is an electrical/internet issue (zombie attack, haha) and an electronic version for travel and convenience purposes. 

If I had to choose between traditional and electronic textbooks, I would choose the electronic versions as my lifestyle requires a portability component. If you can afford it, my advice is to get the electronic versions of your textbooks. But, make sure your devices and textbook support one another. There is no point in getting a Kindle or iPad to then find out your book format isn't supported on those devices. The most commonly used reading application in my life currently is Inkling. I also buy e-books from to confirm they are Kindle compatible. All my course textbooks are offered on both of these platforms and I use them often and would recommend them. If I need an electronic version of a book and it's not available on either of those platforms, I go to the publisher's website and buy the Adobe Digital version. These are e-books in PDF form and work on most electronic devices. The Adobe Digital copies come straight from the publisher, with stand-alone product pricing. 

Below is the Inkling application (from iPhone viewpoint):

Below is the Inkling application (from iPad Pro viewpoint):

Below is the Inkling application (from MacBook Pro viewpoint):

Below is the Kindle application (from MacBook Pro viewpoint):

Below is the Adobe Digital Editions application (from MacBook Pro viewpoint):