If someone asks you to describe what a college textbook looks like, you will probably talk about how much written text is in the book and how thick it is.

A pie chart ((mage credit: Brett Jordan)

That is why pictures, charts, graphs, and other non-text elements to a textbook make it a little bit easier to use. Our eyes often get tired of reading words over and over, page after page, and chapter after chapter. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It is so true when it comes to textbooks. Looking at picture that relates to a relevant topic in a book helps to broaden your understanding of the concepts. It gives your brain something else to process instead of the endless paragraphs that professors so often expect us to read before class.

Science textbooks tend to contain vibrant imagery to complement the text. For example, if you are taking a class on anatomy and physiology or microbiology, newer books would have high-quality images of various parts of the human body or cells found inside the body. By taking a close look at these photographs, it can make understanding the material easier.

Charts and graphs are another aspect of textbooks that make them more attractive. Teachers talk about how certain students are “visual learners.” By utilizing charts, graphs, and drawings, students can visually learn concepts in their classes while also reading the text that refers to these visualizations. These items are particularly helpful in math textbooks. Numbers can get very confusing when you read them in a paragraph. But when you see an angle shown on an X-Y plot or a statistic explained in a pie chart, it simplifies the learning process.

Finally, imagery adds plenty of color and life to a textbook. It brightens the pages and makes students want to look at the book a little longer than they would if it was purely black text on white paper. There are also some cool textbook covers out there with photos that draw in the reader to want to open the book. Many law and political books, for instance, also consist of humorous cartoons. You may not expect to see a funny cartoon in a higher-level law school textbook, but if it gets the point across in a witty way, authors or designers will go for it to make their books more compelling.

Check out Textbooks.org for all of your textbook needs. If you need a book that is full of pictures for one of your classes, you can probably find it on the site – and compare prices on it from various online booksellers.