Physical books versus digital copy



While looking up my course books for my first semester of nursing, I noticed that half of them are offered as digital downloads to be used on such devices as a nook color or amazon fire. What is everyone's opinion on carrying around a tablet versus three physical books? The tablets also offer search functions so it would also mean less page turning.

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

I never had the option of digital books. :)

I do like physical books for highlighting and being able to have 2-3 laid out in front of me to look something up. BUT, if you have any back/shoulder/arm issues, it'd be nice to have it all in a couple of pounds. One of my books alone was over 10 pounds.


916 Posts

I have ebooks for my Med Surg and Psych text. I truly regret it. Yeah it was cheaper, but I would much rather the psychical text. You spend soooooooo much time studying, way more than you ever did for pre-reqs. After hours and hours of staring at the screen, it takes a toll on me.

The pros are that you don't have to carry around heavy textbook and the cost is usually a bit cheaper than the physical textbook. I don't carry my textbooks to schoool so that did not end up being a pro for me. Lesson learned. No more ebooks for me.

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

I prefer to have a physical text, for the same reasons that xtxrn mentioned. In my program, I only remember having to bring some books to class on very few occasions - and most of the time we would team up with other students and each bring a book that way one person isn't stuck bringing 5 different books.


185 Posts

I would love to have mine available on Kindle.. NONE of them are!!

You're able to highlight, it looks like a regular book with no screen illumination or such.. But its black and white for the pics, which kinda sucks.

But I'd really like to have that option at some point.


938 Posts

I have an electronic copy and a hard copy. It's called Evovle or Pageburst. I cannot use it on my phone, but I can use it on my laptop. It's a library of all my books that I have used since the start of nursing school. I find it extremely useful. I can search for something specific very quickly, as opposed to searching through several books, which can sometimes take up a lot of valuable time.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I think it comes down to the type of learner you are. For instance, I prefer tactile learning and want to underline text. I can do that on my Kindle, as well as bookmark and take notes. If you are visual you may prefer colored pictures or graphs. Audio? You would need sound or you would need to to talk it out with another student.