Traditional text books still have strong hold in the college market

Aron Ammann

Staff Writer

Illustration by Hector Casanova/The Kansas City Star/MCT

Illustration by Hector Casanova/The Kansas City Star/MCT

In a world where nearly everyone is connected to an electronic device and spend large parts of their day streaming, liking, or pinning things, Parkland students have a hand on the past with their use of traditional textooks.

While some students do utilize online versions of text the vast majority of Parkland students are opting to purchase or rent traditional textbooks from various outlets.

Parkland Student, Alexios Pishos, chose traditional textbooks over the electronic version because he finds it easier to study from a bound book.

Pishos has had experience with eBooks in the past. In high school, if he were to forget his book at home, and needed it in class, the teacher would give the student a pass code that allowed them access to an online version. Even though Pishos uses traditional text books he does use an online rental service to secure his books for the semester.

Pishos also noted a common theme heard from many students: the fact that numerous times you will spend $100 or more on a text and never use it or barely use it during a semester.

“I would wait until after the first week of class and ask your instructor if they plan on using the book,” Pishos said. He also added that in one of his courses this semester isn’t using a textbook at all, and is instead using handouts from his instructor.

Parkland student, Jasmine Thompson, also picked traditional textbooks over eBooks, although one of her courses uses study materials and homework assignments from an online accompaniment to her traditional text. Thompson purchased some of her books at the bookstore on campus and others online from

“I had to buy some of my stuff from the bookstore but I also price checked online and found a few of the more expensive books for a cheaper price,” Thompson said.

Like a large majority of students on campus, Thompson used part of her financial aid to purchase her books from the bookstore.

“I don’t get as big of a refund on my financial aid as I would later in the semester but, financially, it just makes sense to use it to buy my books, and I am already here at Parkland for class so I can just run in and get my books while I’m here,” Thompson explained.

The Parkland Bookstore, in its new home in the Student Union, is full of everything a Parkland student would need, from the required texts to supplies for class and Parkland clothing, and it gives students the convenience of a one stop shopping experience for their textbooks. As well as a reliable source for the proper textbook for your classes and any supplemental learning aids that may be required in some course.

Morgan, an employee at the Parkland Bookstore, remarked that while it may be a cheaper option to purchase used textbooks online, they are often a different edition from what your instructor is using, which may cause confusion during class or studying. Another costly risk is that a used book not purchased from the bookstore might not have the required pass code for online content, a source that many teachers use to accompany their lectures and lesson plans. Without this code a student will then be required to purchase the pass code separately that usually puts the student’s out of pocket cost over what a new textbook from the bookstore would be.

Morgan also noted that the Parkland Bookstore offers an option to rent some of their text books if the books publisher gives them permission to offer that possibility to students. Renting from the bookstore gives you the assurance that you are receiving the proper edition and all the online content that comes with it.

The bookstore does also offer eBook versions of texts. Once again, the publisher must offer that option to the bookstore in order for it to be available for student purchase. If a student were to choose to purchase the electronic version of their text from the bookstore they would be given a passcode at checkout that would allow them to download the book onto their device.

Even with the cheaper price of eBooks, Morgan still sees traditional textbooks dominating in the purchases at the bookstore. A trend that is very noticeable around Parkland as well as with students lugging their heavy books around under their arms or over their shoulders in some sort of bag.

For the time being, traditional textbooks are still the most popular choice around campus. Weighing your options before purchasing textbooks can help you make the decision that will fit your budget and work for your studying style.