The cost of college texts is rising faster than inflation, and 20% and more of college tuition is paid on purchasing textbooks. Now, in additional to buying used textbooks, college students can buy eTexts.
Websites like Coursesmart.com offer texts as a subscription for about 50% of the cost of printed texts sold at the college bookstore. Of course, these texts are not printable so are not in-hand. But, they are very accessible. You can use a laptop or desktop to read them, and they are available through iTunes for downloads to the iPhone that students can carry around with them conveniently. In addition, students can search these texts, cut and paste them, and put them in note format for studying.
Coursesmart works with a dozen big textbook publishers, representing a large majority of college texts and it carries about 7,000 titles to date.