Amazon to launch Kindle for textbooks

Tue, May 5, 2009


The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to unveil a larger version of the Kindle with a “larger screen and other features designed to appeal to periodical and academic textbook publishers.”

Beginning this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed, said Lev Gonick, the school’s chief information officer. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, he said.

Computer Science textbooks on a Kindle?  Uh, no thanks.

The ability to carry a Kindle instead of lugging around 5 textbooks is undoubtedly appealing, and it might very well be a good option for travelling or light studying, but when it comes to old-school and hardcore studying (i.e underlining, highlighting, and speedily flipping back and forth between sections) the Kindle just can’t compete with a textbook.

The Kindle would work great as a secondary device, but as a primary textbook, it’s a a perfect example of technology actually hampering efficiency.


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