Digital textbooks on the rise

<p>As printed books get more expensive, electronic versions are on the rise as a popular, cost-saving alternative, notes Business Week. In growing numbers, the college crowd is demanding a cheaper alternative to printed texts: the digital textbook. <br /><br />Within the last year or so, traffic has surged at Web stores like CourseSmart and iChapters, where students can download $100 textbooks for as little as $50. CourseSmart, which launched last August, has already lured &quot;hundreds of thousands&quot; of users from 2,500 campuses, says CEO Sean Devine. From July through September, iChapters averaged two million hits per month, up 63% over the same period last year. &quot;This is a natural evolution,&quot; says Devine, who spent six years heading Safari Books Online, a provider of computer and business e-books. &quot;Every other form of media&mdash;movies, music, TV shows&mdash;is available electronically. Why not textbooks?&quot; <br /><br /></p>