Why PDFs are the solution to textbooks

5 minute read
Why PDFs Are The Solution To Textbooks

With the cost of tuition becoming increasingly taxing on students, textbooks are likely the first place that these young adults look to cut costs. After all, its a simple solution to avoiding piling onto the student debt crisis currently facing post-secondary students.

By avoiding purchasing their textbooks, students save themselves the long wait in line at the bookstore and can use that money elsewhere, like on food or rent. Sure, they can try to borrow the textbooks or course packs from library on a weekly basis, but chances are someone from your class has already thought of that and likely has the book checked out in perpetuity.

So, where can students gain access to these precious textbooks and course packs that they will eventually need to use for studying and writing essays? Well, the internet of course! Then again, the world wide web can be a far more treacherous place than it seems.

With that, here’s the reasons why (and teachers, we hope you’re reading this!) the portable document format, or PDF for short, is the inevitable replacement to textbooks–and for good reasons, too!

Textbooks are a waste of paper

We are living in a time in which younger generations are becoming increasingly aware, and concerned, about climate change.

Global warming and mass production have led to significant and rapid changes to climate around the world, and the children of our current and future students are likely going to have to deal with the impending consequences from Mother Nature.

More than ever, our collective focus needs to be shifted towards sustaining our planet rather than continue to destroy it. Hence why we need to move away from physical copies of textbooks sooner rather than later.

Don’t believe me? Consult our “5 Reasons To Go Paperless” infographic to learn more:

So think about how many textbooks are in that bookstore you’ve avoided. Then think about how many are sitting on the shelves of the library, collecting dust. Now, multiply that number by every school out there. Even if you’re not good at math, you can figure out that it adds up to a lot of trees being cut down.

Plain and simple, textbooks are a waste of paper. And a waste of a 500-pages of paper is a waste of two and a half trees. And a waste of two-and-a-half trees is harmful to the environment.

Your device is part of the solution

Textbooks are bulky and heavy. Lugging several of them around throughout the day will cause you grief and muscle aches.

Your cellphone, tablet and laptop on the other hand? Well, those are significantly lighter and likely hold a lot more data than your knapsack ever could! Plus, you are probably more inclined to forget a textbook at home rather than your cellphone.

Hence why PDFs, lightweight and transferable, are the paperless solutions for students to turn to as an alternative to their textbook needs, which is a smart decision.

While you might rip a page in your textbook, you won’t ever have to worry about ware and tear with a PDF. Plus, you can download them to your phone to read them after you’ve grown tired of scrolling through your social media feeds.

Here’s some E-readers you may want to consider.

But even if students manage to find their textbooks online, how can they know its safe to use?

The real cost of a “free” textbook online

Starting off in university, you’ve probably bought yourself (or maybe your parents helped a little) a brand, spanking new device. Whether it be a tablet or a laptop, you’ve got it solely for the purpose of studying in university, right?

Well, after downloading some class syllabuses, school documents, course slides and perhaps a video games or two, you find yourself searching for a free, paperless solution to acquiring your textbooks for cheap. This is where students should be on highest alert.

You see, what you’re doing (or thinking of doing) is illegal. You’ve just broken (or were about to infringe upon) the copyright law in your attempt to go green and save two-and-a-half trees.

Regardless of the fact that you’re taking profit away from the publisher and acquiring a digital copy of a textbook that is clearly “re-printed” or repurposed without their expressed permission, keep in mind that you’re also putting that brand new device of yours at risk.

Just in time for back-to-school, malware and other viruses are hiding within the download links of your “free” online textbooks, which can render your devices, as well as those you share these documents with, near obsolete.

And even if its not a brand new laptop, you’ll want to protect your precious computer from harm because you’ll need it for writing your essays, researching your topics and keeping track of all those notes you took in class. It should be noted that some forms of these fake textbook online downloads are used to turn your computer into a mining device, which can dramatically increase your energy bill among other issues.

Surely there must be a better way to encourage the paperless route while also avoiding having their devices compromised in the process?

How the PDF format is already changing the textbook landscape

While some might argue that online textbooks do not provide same learning experience that a physical textbook can, future students are growing up in the digital age where they’ve become accustomed to reading and gathering information online or via device.

This is also the same generations that are in-tune with subscription based models. And more and more businesses, this includes publishers too, are becoming more aware of how the single sale model is going the way of, uh, textbooks.

Imagine a world where all students bought the textbook online, directly from the publisher, and gained access to their textbooks with an instant download. Imagine your professors doing the same with their self-published course packs. While some academics might scoff at this notion, a plethora of students are eager to usher in the new era of PDFs.

If you’re one of those teachers that we hoped was reading this article from the start, or one of the rare ones who are already using PDF software in the classroom, then here’s a few resources you might want to use for your next course.

And if you’re one of those students who are already adept at reading on your device, these are a few software suggestions for you to read on.

So, now that it’s been established that PDFs are the future “textbook”, what’s the best software for students (and eventually professors) to use to optimize their learning experiences?

Why Soda PDF is the solution for students and teachers alike

If you manage to digitize your textbook or teacher’s course pack (that is, by scanning the pages) then you can use Soda PDF Anywhere to not only import that document but to use as a reader for the materials, highlight or add notes for studying and a whole lot more!

So be sure to check out Soda PDF as your one and only tool when it comes to reading your textbook or course pack on your device, adding study notes, or simply to write up your papers.

You can even use Soda PDF Anywhere on desktop, mobile or any device of your choosing! Students who are doing their part in the textbook-to-PDF revolution, we salute you with this guide to making your lives way easier with Soda PDF!

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