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Survey suggests college students still tepid on eBooks

Students say they would buy an eReader if a professor required the device.

Colleges’ embrace of electronic books runs the spectrum from hesitant acceptance to full investment, but students’ reluctance to use the nontraditional textbooks remains, if a new national survey is any indication.

One in 10 college students said they have bought an electronic book in the past three months, and 56 percent of those who had purchased an eBook said it was for educational purposes, according to a study released last month by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) OnCampus Research Division.

The survey included more than 600 college students from across the country, and although NACS advocates for college bookstores—which thrive on traditional textbook sales—the findings painted a bleak picture for campus technology leaders pushing for more use of electronic books.

Seventy-seven percent of students who recently bought an eBook said they read the book on their laptop or netbook.

Only two in 10 read the eBook on an eReader device, such as the Apple iPad or Barnes & Noble Nook. The same number read the eBook on their mobile device, which included BlackBerries and iPhones. Eight percent said they owned an eReader device.

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