What’s Going On Now: College textbooks

I’m currently working on a story on the use of electronic textbooks in the college classrooms—with specific attention on the ability to electronically “rent” textbooks that normally cost hundreds of dollars for pocket change.  These are books that one rents via their iPhone, Blackberry or other electronic reading devices, and then keep for the six months of the semester.

Keep an eye out for the full story, in which I’ll talk to some Dayton area universities to see how they’re dealing with this trend…if it’s a trend at all.  Personally, mass smartphone usage only caught on during the waning years of my college career, and I was never lucky (or rich) enough to snag one.  Hell, I’m still behind on this eReading nonsense, and as much as I hated shelling out $200 for a botany textbook I have yet to use (since the bookstore refused to buy it back), I don’t know if I could have scraped an ‘A’ studying a tiny screen the night before exams.  Sorry, but botany alone is enough to give me a headache—I don’t need iPhone glare on top.

But that’s just me.  For starters, I’m using As Classrooms Go Digital, Textbooks May Become History from The New York Times.  Check it out and see what you think.

P.S. Tolling the death knell of the textbook industry doesn’t mean I won’t give up my right leg to work for Pearson publishing.  Remember, the job search continues…

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