‘Sex vs. Textbooks’ survey doesn’t jibe with student preferences

Textbooks can weigh more than 20 pounds.

One in four college students said in a recent survey that they’d give up sex for a year if it meant never again having to carry textbooks around campus, but majorities of students in other opinion polls show a reluctance to give up on traditional texts and switch entirely to electronic books.

Kno Inc., a California-based educational software company, released a survey July 27 that has grabbed the attention of educators and students alike—and not so much because the survey shows that lugging heavy books from the dorm to the lecture hall and back isn’t fun, but because of what, exactly, young adults would sacrifice to rid their lives of their 800-page biology text.

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Seven in 10 college student respondents said they want digital textbooks options, whether through a popular computer tablet like the Apple iPad or eBooks on a laptop.

Twenty-five percent of students carry more than 20 pounds of school-related materials—books, notebooks, organizational systems—every day on campus, according to the Kno survey.

There’s also the issue of bringing the wrong books to class—46 percent of respondents said this has happened to them—or losing the text altogether. Two in 10 students said they had misplaced their books sometime during their college career.

But educators and activists who keep a close eye on developments in higher education’s textbook policies said the sky-high demand for eBooks and web-based textbooks material is rarely, if ever, reflected in other national surveys on the issue.

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