digital vs. print


Electronic books (eBooks) are a sustainable, cost-effective means of reading for pleasure and education. StatsCanada reports that in 2016, 76% of Canadians owned a smartphone. With such widespread access to devices capable of delivering eBooks, why haven’t print textbooks been made obsolete?


As a publisher, PanGlobal keeps a close eye on trends and preferences in regards to educational textbooks. What we find is that eBooks and print textbooks satisfy different tastes and demands, and have their own pros and cons.

Our paper textbooks are three-hole punched for versatility, allowing each unit-level booklet to be conveniently carried in students’ notes binders. With the transition to perfect-bound volumes, our textbooks are quicker and less costly to produce – providing cost-savings to our customers. Perfect-bound textbooks also have the added benefit of looking great on a bookshelf display.

PanGlobal eBooks are designed with portability in mind. Available through an app on Android and Apple devices or a desktop reader for Windows and Mac computers, our eBooks can be read with or without an active Internet connection. Adding to the convenience, self-assessments, study flashcards, and videos demonstrating select concepts are included in the eBook files, eliminating the need to navigate outside the eBook application. Finish that up with synchronous highlights, bookmarks, notes and reading progress, and our eBooks serve as a sustainable and cost-effective means of studying Power Engineering.


When directly comparing prices, PanGlobal eBooks are a more economical choice when compared to our textbooks. As eBooks don’t require printing, inventorying, and shipping, our overhead is lower and the cost-savings are shared with eBook consumers. eBook pricing varies between eBook products as authoring costs (such as page count and SME competency) and licencing are unique to each PanGlobal product.


PanGlobal textbooks are printed in a clear, easy-to-read font; however, our eBooks offer adjustable margins, text typeface and scaling, and themes (such as Black for eye-friendly late-night study sessions). If reading our eBooks online through your browser, PanGlobal eBooks even offer Text-to-Speech with a variable read-back rate (only available on browser eBooks at this time as TTS uses the web browser’s built-in language packs for speech synthesis).


All current PanGlobal products are available as print textbooks. While our eBook platform boasts many titles, these are primarily our Core Power Engineering products which don’t include workbooks and some Ancillary products (at this time). While we endeavour to digitize our entire product catalogue to provide our customers with a choice between print and digital offerings, the reality is that converting our master files to a digital-friendly format is a laborious process and takes time to complete. Although our eBook platform may not feature all products, it will often carry older products that are out-of-print through transitory periods (i.e., SOPEEC’s 4th Class syllabus revision).

Why aren’t print textbooks obsolete? Choice and Demand. Textbook consumers (primarily students) want a choice in how they digest their educational content. As such, there is still a demand to be met for print textbooks and the unique properties they possess.

Regardless of your preference for digital or print textbooks, PanGlobal offers a product that can uniquely suit your needs as a student and professional. Visit our online bookstore to find the products that will best support your learning journey.


Written by Shayne Dickin
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