Library increases e-book holdings, students prefer tangible copies

Students find hard copy books to be a better investment when compared with e-books.


Sophomore English major Grace Hansen enjoys a book at the patio near the Flour Fountain. | Johnathan Burkhardt

Charity Chezum, Writer

Sophomore English major Grace Hansen enjoys a book at the patio near the Flour Fountain. | Johnathan Burkhardt

UPDATED: OCT. 2 AT 4:29 P.M. 

This article originally incorrectly reported information pertaining to the Library's fiction selection. The article has been updated with correct information about the availability of fiction books to students. The Chimes regrets this error. 


The number of e-books available in the campus library increased from last school year, though many students prefer physical books over electronic text.

The use of e-books in the campus library increased by 62 percent, according to the Biola library. Out of the 347,students use e-books, many students said they prefer to check out physical books from the library as opposed to reading them online.

“I totally prefer like an old fashioned feeling book. I feel like I can hold it. I can write on it. I just prefer it,” said Sarah Sjoberg, senior international business major.


Students said they believe hard copy books are a better investment compared to e-books due to the nostalgic experience.

Furthermore, students said that it was easier to learn from a physical book because they are able to interact more with the text as compared to e-books.

“It’s easier for me to learn with an actual book because like with even my book I can write in it and then writing helps me learn,” said Aubrie Christensen, senior biology major .

Half Off Books, a bookstore located in Whittier, does not sell e-books, but offers 30-40 audio books for purchase. Kira Egan, 23, an employee at Half Off Books, said that many students visit Half Off Books looking to buy classic literature required for classes.

“Fiction’s really popular. Unfortunately we can’t get a lot of textbooks because they [students] need the newer editions, so they usually go for poetry or psychologies or fictions,” Egan said.


Young adults ages 18 to 29 read more books per year than adults age 30 and older, according to the Pew Research Center. However, students said that they mostly read books at Biola for academic research and homework.

The campus library contains fiction requested by professors that pertains to their curriculum, including classic literature said Sue Whitehead, associate dean of library and media services. Books from contemporary authors typically found in bookstores are not available for student checkout because the library is designed to support the curriculum of the school, Whitehead said.

However, the Biola library offers the LINK+ catalog service in which students can request reading material not available in the library to be delivered on campus within two to three days.

Furthermore, the library has a small Christian fiction section, though only a few students said they have checked out a book from this section.

“I usually will just read books from friends,” said Breanna Labounty, senior liberal studies major. “I think a couple times I’ve gone in and gotten books just for extra reading.”

Many students said they would prefer to read for pleasure, but that they do not have enough time during the school year.

“I’d prefer to read for fun, but during the semester it tends to be more academic reading,” said Braydon Stewart, junior computer science major. “I get a couple books done during the semester, but usually a lot of my fun reading is done during the summer.”

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