Digital Textbooks Are Ready for Prime Time, says NYU Bookstores

Student purchases of CafeScribe digital textbooks are on the rise

Mar 12, 2010, 13:26 ET from Follett Corporation

OAK BROOK, Ill., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital textbooks are poised for rapid adoption if early successes at NYU Bookstores are any indication.

"We expect digital textbook use to grow as fast as the title inventories can," says Phil Christopher, director of NYU Bookstores. "The technology is in place, the books are highly interactive, and students own powerful portable devices. Moreover, traditional textbook costs are rising, and students are quite comfortable with searching, shopping and learning online. Our students are excited to have the option of purchasing CafeScribe® digital textbooks."

When students register for courses, NYU Bookstores emails them links to the required texts to signal the availability of the books on the CafeScribe eBook platform, making it simple for the student to opt for the digital versions. With CafeScribe, no additional eReader is required to access the eBook, and most titles can be downloaded to multiple computers.

NYU has integrated its point-of-sale and store management software with other back-end computer systems to provide this exceptional service to students. Best practices like this have made NYU one of the top independent sellers of CafeScribe digital textbooks. "It's all about providing students with as many choices as we can," said Christopher.

Like CafeScribe eTextbooks, electronic textbook sales as a whole are on the rise. They represent less than five percent of college-store textbook sales but could reach 10 to 15 percent by 2012, according to the National Association of College Stores (NACS).

In addition to lowering textbook costs and making reading more interactive, digital textbooks serve as a lifeline when traditional textbooks aren't available, such as when a faculty member assigns a text at the last minute or a student registers late.

CafeScribe digital textbooks from Follett Higher Education Group (FHEG) are available in more than 8,000 titles in every major discipline. Digital textbooks are just one new way that Follett is saving students money, FHEG also enables students to purchase and rent both new and used textbooks.

Once students download a digital book, CafeScribe technology enables them to read, search, highlight, bookmark and annotate the pages. In addition to the study tools built into the digital textbooks, CafeScribe provides a built-in academically based social networking platform. This allows professors and students to create study groups, share notes and discuss topics with peers in their classroom and around the world.  Once a CafeScribe digital textbook has been purchased and downloaded by a student, they own that copy of the digital textbook, and there is no limit imposed on how long they may access the material.

Students and professors can find digital textbooks at and, or at point-of-sale displays at participating college and university bookstores.  

CafeScribe digital books can also be downloaded for a seven-day trial period. To learn more about the Try Now, Buy Later program, please visit or

CafeScribe has partnered with different inventory control, POS and retail management solutions, including Booklog and RATEX, to help schools streamline the process of bringing CafeScribe digital books to campus bookstores across the U.S.

About the CafeScribe eBook Platform

The CafeScribe eBook platform is a digital textbook and social networking platform for students and educators. The platform is the latest addition to Follett's broad portfolio of course material options for students, available online and at more than 850 college bookstores operated by Follett in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit

About Follett

Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace.

SOURCE Follett Corporation