There is no excuse, other than tradition, to continue producing textbooks on paper
1. Paper kills trees.
40 textbooks is equal to a large tree. Imagine all the textbooks in America. Unless hemp paper catches on, technology is the best solution to the paper problem.
2. Schools can use lower-end tablets.
Some decent Android ones are only 300. For comparison, the average textbook is 100 and each student has 5. The school saves 200 on equipment. Instead of paying for each textbook, the school can just copy the PDF onto all the tablets. Imagine a version of Wikipedia that is edited only by professors.
Modern tablets like the iPad 3 and up have high-res Retina displays that don't cause eyestrain.
"If the point of school is to prepare for the future, why learn the way our parents did?"- TheInterlang
Books are a fading tool. iPads and other tablets are quickly replacing books in private life. There is little argument other than for posterity to continue to use books. The paper saved means trees saved. The tablets weigh less than a pound and can contain entire libraries worth of books. Some tablets are even waterproof and drop proof. Books are becoming obsolete, and should be replaced. Lets not get hasty and burn down all the libraries though. Some things need to be kept for histories sake.
I think that we should replace school books with ipads for a lot of reasons. First of all, for an average teen a year's worth of textbooks cost around 1000. An ipad is significantly cheaper than that. Books are also much heavier and harder to move from place to place.
Getting rid of books and replacing them with Ipads is the next logical step. It will allow students to not have to worrry about lugging around large books and take advantage of technology. We are not downgrading education in any way with Ipads because the information is exactly the same you would get from a book.
I may be biased, but I grew up reading books and chowing down page after page. I started reading at the age of 6 and fell absolutely in love with it. I will forever love the feeling of getting or seeing a brand new book and diving into it. Just my perspective.
Tablets help students learn more material faster. Technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30-80%, according to the US Department of Education and studies by the National Training and Simulation Association. 
81% of K-12 teachers believe that "tablets enrich classroom education." The survey of technology in the classroom by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) also concluded that 77% of teachers found technology to "increase student motivation to learn." 
Tablets can hold hundreds of textbooks on one device, plus homework, quizzes, and other files, eliminating the need for physical storage of books and classroom materials. The average tablet contains anywhere from 8 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage space. On the Amazon Kindle Fire, for instance, 1,000 books take up one GB of space. 
E-textbooks on tablets cost on average 50-60% less than print textbooks. According to a 2012 report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), K-12 school districts spend more than $8 billion per year on textbooks.  E-textbooks can save schools between $250-$1,000 per student per year.  Tablet prices also continue to drop, making them increasingly affordable. Tablets cost on average $489 in 2011, $386 in 2012, and are projected to cost $263 in 2015. 
Tablets help to improve student achievement on standardized tests. Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tested an interactive, digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook for Apple's iPad in California's Riverside Unified School District. Students who used the iPad version scored 20 percent higher on standardized tests versus students who learned with traditional textbooks. 
Tablets contain many technological features that cannot be found in print textbooks. Tablets give users the ability to highlight and edit text and write notes without ruining a textbook for the next user. Tablets have a search function, a backlighting option to read in low light, and a built-in dictionary. Interactive diagrams and videos increase student creativity, motivation, attentiveness, and engagement with classroom materials.