Rekindling interest in textbooks

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A piece in eSchoolNews this week reports on the latest nail in the coffin of stodgy textbooks. As my 18-year old digital native daughter commented recently, she is slightly irritated when she wants to do a search in a textbook and has to rely on the index. With the launch of the Kindle DX this (northern hemisphere) summer, this shortcoming of the traditional textbook can be overcome, along with a host of others. The new Kindle has a larger screen, is slimmer than the original Kindle, and can store 3,500 books (2,000 more than its predecessor). There are more than 275,000 electronic books available in Amazon’s Kindle library, and readers can also access international newspapers and magazines and more than 1,500 blogs, all via a 3G wireless network.

If there is one problem, it’s the price. At US$489, it may only appeal to the early adopter market at the moment. Although, economically astute consumers may consider the amount they will save not having to buy the more expensive bound, paper versions of textbooks. A Kindle app for the iPhone/iPod Touch is also available which, using Whispersync, keeps the Kindle and iPhone in sync no matter where you are or what device you have with you (Kindle or iPhone), always maintaining your current position in your book.

Unfortunately for non-US iTunes account holders, the Kindle app for iPhone is not available in the iTunes store yet. In the meantime, I shall continue to make do with Stanza which is no great hardship.

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