eTextbooks: Reasons Students Prefer Digital Reading Experience

The digital reading experience is fundamentally different from that of reading print material. Digital reading enhances the overall experience for readers with its dynamic nature of presentation and ability to bring content to life with interactive videos and animation. Digital publishing is transforming the face of education with eTextbooks and helping students enjoy the learning process. 

A study released by McGraw-Hill Education in partnership with Hanover Research has 3000 students voice their digital preferences in college education. It has useful insights on learning trends and helps in understanding why eTextbooks should be a serious consideration for academic publishers.

According to the study, 81% of students believe that digital learning technology is helping them improve their grades. The maximum benefit of edtech is in STEM subjects as 78% of college students confess that digital learning is helping them improve computer science, mathematics, and other technical skills.

Top 6 Global Statistics About Digital Reading & eTextbooks -

84% of Students Believe Digital Reading will Enhance Knowledge

Students enjoy the digital reading experience. According to the study, 84% of students agree that the use of digital technology in education will help them learn better. Most of the students use their own devices for digital reading and completing their homework, exam preparations, and subject research online. The curiosity to gain more knowledge makes them go beyond the limits of print textbooks and explore digital learning aids. 

71% of Students Engage More with Digital Course Material

As students spend most of their time online, they are inclined towards games, videos, instant chats, and other responsive content. The print textbooks can never provide the dynamic learning experience that students demand. 

Digital reading becomes more responsive and exciting when it is aided with interactive content like reference videos and animations to help students understand the topic better. 81% of students admitted that reading digital content keeps them more engaged in the learning process and they feel comfortable as they can spend more time revisiting a few topics and study anytime, anywhere. 

97% of Students Found Digital Reading Helpful in Retention

Students expect institutions and the faculty to deliver education in a way that is paced according to their learning style and abilities. The traditional courses were designed for teaching large groups of students and therefore, could never cater to individual learning needs. Digital reading resources make personalized learning possible. Students can learn at their own pace and revisit topics if they want. This helps information retention. 

eTextbooks make it possible for educators to track the learning habits of students with the content analytics plugged in digital courseware & LMS. This analysis helps them reform their course delivery methods to suit the learning pace of students. 

45% of Students Want to Learn on Personal Device

Students like to have their personal space. They use their digital devices for watching videos, reading, texting, and talking with others. The use of digital devices can be easily extended to their learning environment. 

Easy accessibility and mobility are what the majority of students want from the study material offered to them. When students use their own devices for digital reading and accessing online learning material, not only do they get a sense of comfort but can also access the material while on the go. 

79% of Students Prefer Online Quizzes, Adaptive Learning & e-Textbooks 

Interactive assessment solutions are quite effective to test students. eTextbooks provide detailed analysis of individual students’ progress and also helps faculty members to decide on the learning path for students depending on their performance. It is easy to track progress through analytics. Students can self-analyze their performance and realize the areas they need to improve. 

Students believed that adaptive learning methodologies helped them address their unique learning needs and revisit certain portions of the learning material. Adaptive learning technology also helped them retain new concepts & information delivered in classrooms and improve their grades. 

78% of Students Admitted Digital Reading Helped in Improving Academic Skills

According to the study report, around 78% of students considered digital reading and eTextbooks to be the major reason behind their improved grades. It helped them improve their computer science, mathematics, and other technical skills.

Also Read: How Can eTextbooks Help K-12 Publishers, Institutes & Students

What are Advantages of Digital Reading & eTextbooks?

Easy Access Through Instant Downloads

With eTextbooks providing easy access to digital reading, students no longer have to worry about the study material being out of stock or waiting in line to make a purchase. eTextbooks can be bought instantly from an online bookstore and saved on your device. Students can build their own virtual bookshelf and enhance their knowledge base through digital reading.

Affordable for Students

As eTextbooks eliminate the extra costs of shipping and delivery they cost about 50-60% less than print versions, making them affordable for students. They can use the saved money to buy additional digital reading material or pursue some educational program of their interest. With the education cost rising, digital reading offers students a way to become economically efficient. 

Environment Friendly

EPA states that paper and paperboard products make up roughly 18 million tons of waste in landfills. By embracing digital reading, students can play their part in conserving natural resources. Switching to eTextbooks will eliminate the negative environmental impact caused during the process of paper production.

No Need to Carry Physical Books

Digital reading will substantially reduce the burden on students’ shoulders. They can be freed from the weight of printed textbooks as they can carry their entire bookshelf on one device. Devices used for digital reading have the storage space to accommodate thousands of eTextbooks, worksheets, assignments, and other study material. 

Stay Updated with the Latest Information

The most significant benefit of digital reading is that students can always access information that is updated timely. eTextbooks can be updated with a few clicks whereas updating traditional textbooks is a time-consuming activity. 

Allow Students to Take Ownership of Learning

Digital reading saves the time that students spend on searching for specific information in hundreds of pages of print textbooks. With eTextbooks students have the freedom to highlight, instantly search for particular topics, adjust font sizes, and hear audio translations. They can plan their learning activities according to their learning preferences and continue learning without constant outside help.

Also Read: Are eTextbooks The Next Big Thing in K-12 Education?


Students no longer need to stock up print textbooks for their upcoming academic year. With technological advancements and easy access to devices for digital reading, etextbooks have become the first choice for students and educators. eTextbooks allow educators to make lessons more interactive and effective while students enjoy the dynamic learning experience. 

While digital publishing and eBooks are changing the face of publishing material across genres, print textbooks are undergoing a digital makeover to delight the tech-savvy generation of students, allowing them to learn & relearn something new in their classrooms and back-home.

Kitaboo has served more than 3 million students with fun, interactive, multimedia-enriched eBooks and eTextbooks. They are packed with chapter-wise online assessments and a variety of learning nuggets that make digital reading interesting for students. Talk to us if you are looking for digital publishing of educational books to encourage digital reading amongst your students.

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Mike Harman

Mike Harman

Mike is the SVP Business Development at KITABOO. He has over 30 years experience in achieving consistent top-line revenue growth and building mutually beneficial relationships. More posts by Mike Harman