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Paperback vs Digital: How to Stop Buying Books Every Semester?

paperback Vs DigitalThere was a time when a classroom was unimaginable without the rustling of paper and rows of students trying to keep up their notes with the professor’s words. But now, paper books are becoming an increasingly rare sight across college campuses. Instead, the pack of books has been replaced by one sleek, smart device that can morph into any textbook or notebook you want.

When digital books took over, it has not only reduced the burden of carrying around all your books, but also increased the efficiency of handling your academics. Today, students no longer have to go to libraries to find resources; every journal and research material is accessible as a digital copy. Likewise, one can quickly seek help from academic professionals at and turn in their assignments via online platforms. In short, the electronic versions have the potential to make your college life more manageable.

But the decision of going paperless might not be that simple for every single student. For some, handwritten notes are key to their learning strategies. While others find the charm of paper irreplaceable. If you find yourself confused between choosing books and going digital, here are a few reasons to help you make that decision:

Digital Note Taking Has Evolved
There are a handful of studies suggesting that written notes are more effective in learning as compared to typing. However, today’s technologies have advanced enough to allow you to write down your notes on a digital device, rather than typing them. If you have access to tablets or laptops that are compatible with pens, you can find dozens of apps online that are explicitly developed for note-taking.

These are also screen covers that can replicate a paper’s texture to give you the feel of putting pen to paper. With these apps, you will not miss the delight of writing.

Find What You Need Fast
When you really need to find that one phrase you highlighted in your notes, a digital version might be of better use than your notebook. With the simple search function, you can find any phrase or document in no time. Moreover, you will no longer have to remember to take every notebook and textbook to your scheduled lectures.

Instead, all your study materials will be available in one place, easy to cross-reference and organize. Most note-taking apps allow you to create different folders for different subjects, allowing you to store your notes efficiently.

Download eBooks
Unlike notebooks, textbooks are a whole different story. You need to get new textbooks for every major and every semester. And now, students prefer to scan their textbooks so they can store digital versions. This allows you to go back and find some information from the first semester, regardless of whether you have the paperback with you or not.

Also, if you are lucky, you might be able to find free versions of your textbooks on the internet.

Backup Your Notes
Yes, it is rare that one of your books might go missing, but you could always leave them behind somewhere. Moreover, a cup of coffee or even water could damage your neatly written notes. While electronic versions are not entirely foolproof, they also come with the advantage of duplications.

You can copy your notes on how many ever times you want just with a few taps. By backing them up to the cloud or an external hard drive, your college notes will be available years and years later. The best part is that it will not take up your garage space, and your parents will not have to send you boxes of your college stuff for you to refer to something.

Share Your Notes
It is likely that you might be absent in a few classes every now and then. Before digital note-taking, you either had to painstakingly copy your friend’s notes or stand in line to make photocopies of them. Even then, it might be a hard time figuring out their note-taking strategy and any scribbles they have made on margins.

Now, apps allow you to convert handwriting notes into text, which is easily readable by anyone. It is also easier to share your notes with others in any format you need, such as a Word doc or a PDF. Aside from sharing with others, you can send your notes across your own devices as well. This way, all your notes will be accessible on multiple platforms.

Customize Your Notes
If you thought a set of highlighters and color pencils could help you take better notes, think again. The latest note-taking apps can exceed your expectations when it comes to customization. You can easily structure your notes, add images, videos, and even attach your professor’s lectures as audio files to your notes.


Besides these, there are also the familiar choices of color-coding, tagging, and personalizing your notes. More importantly, you can go back and make any changes as you please. For instance, you could take notes in one solid color, and change and reorder it later while you are studying.

Be Sustainably Responsible
This might be the one feature that can outshine every other advantage of digital books. The paper might be biodegradable, but the industry has a significant consequence on forests. By going paperless, you would be contributing to our environment’s sustainability. You can help reduce deforestation, cut down on pollution created by paper manufacturing, and reduce paper waste. If living green is in your list of priorities, you need not think further about choosing digital over paperback.

In our fast-paced world, you are in constant search for efficiency. While making a transition to digital books might be difficult at first, you might soon find yourself preferring it. If you need help, there are plenty of tutorials and guides available on the website. Ebooks are portable, editable, and easily customizable compared to their paperback counterparts. If you are looking for a means to avoid buying new books every semester, then the answer is undoubtedly digital books.

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