Students becoming less dependent on physical books?

Inside Higher Ed has an update on electronic textbook adoption which is mostly uninteresting to me except for this bit:

Nevertheless, students’ allegiance to print appears to be eroding; among those who did not purchase a digital text, only 39 percent said they “prefer traditional print textbooks” — down from 50 percent two years ago and 59 percent three years ago.

Student habit and comfort level is one of the hardest things to change, and this survey suggests that college students are quickly dropping their insistence on a physical, paper book. If this is true, this will open up the field to all kinds of experimental approaches to textbooks. I’ll be finding out soon enough with my fall class how comfortable students are with a fairly radical electronic “book”.

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