Though we keep hearing about a huge increase in sales of e-books, a recent survey shows that, for students, that needle has not really moved much.
The library e-book provider eBrary released some of the preliminary results from its 2011 Global Student E-Book Survey last week. Among its findings: that students' e-book usage has not increased significantly in the past 3 years.
That's contrary to other reports about consumers using e-books. Back in May, Amazon said that it was selling more e-books than print, ad the Association of American Publishers says that for the first half of the year, e-book sales are up 160% while hardcover and paperback sales were both down nearly 20%.
So why are students' buying habits different? Why aren't they buying more e-books?
Part of the answer lies in the fact that the books they need -- textbooks at least -- are not always available in digital format. Even if some titles are available, many students opt to buy all their books at the same time from the same location (whether that retailer is online or a traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore or a textbook rental company). As different e-readers and e-reader apps have access to different catalogs, there isn't really a seamless shopping experience for digital textbooks.