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Kindle Textbooks

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Showing 1-25 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 12, 2008 7:40:23 AM PST
Have any college students tried using the Kindle to buy textbooks? If so, what has been your experience?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2008 8:52:09 AM PST
Keeley says:
From what I understand (not personal experience though) is that most work fine, but math books and such might not display well because of some of the characters.

I saw where someone wanted their textbook and it was NOT available on Kindle. So they went to the publishers website and found an electronic version there that they could put on their Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2008 10:25:23 AM PST
OlManRivah says:
I'm not a student, but, I read reference material. The Kindle versions have some problems.

1) Diagrams and pictures aren't clear enough in some cases.
2) Text will reference a page number that is useless in the Kindle version
3) The chapter you are in isn't displayed on the page like a real book
4) Text describing a picture or diagram is the same font as regular text so gets confusing during the read.

But, there are a lot of pluses like the dictionary, search, bookmarks, notes, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2008 12:02:50 PM PST
So, has the ability to make bookmarks in the text, take notes, etc. been enough to offset not being able to "highlight" text per se'? I would imagine that many of these "kinks" will eventually be worked out, wouldn't you think?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2008 12:58:01 PM PST
OlManRivah says:
Most of the kinks are how the books are formatted, not the Kindle. By the way, you can highlight in the Kindle........

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 8:46:41 AM PST
I've been using it for mine - some of my books were available, some were not. I didn't have any problems with scanning my books in that weren't. It takes some finesse, and time, but the finished result was great.

As the other poster mentioned, technical books would really need to be configured to work properly with the Kindle to work properly, but if the publishers decided to make a real effort to do this they certainly could but it'd probably be too labor intensive for individuals.

The lack of real page numbers is also a problem. Amazon really needs to address this issue, as for reference books you need an actual page number to cite it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 9:57:06 AM PST
OlManRivah says:
I thoroughly believe as the Kindle is refined and Publishers get the hang of it, the Kindle will be astonishing. For instance, I've got 4 text books on my Kindle. I can do a search on say "Aristotle" and it will bring up every instance of Aristotle being mentioned in all 4 text books. Now that's nice. It then allows me to go to these items effortlessly.

While I'm reading about Aristotle, I can hop out of the book and go to Wiki or the Net, research, and with the click of a button or two go right back to the book, where ever I am at the moment.

If I save all my Newspapers on my memory card, it will search all the years Newspapers for any mention of Aristotle.

But, right now, if I go to the index (if the book comes with one) It doesn't work. This is a Publishing problem. The TOC seems to work fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2008 8:34:05 AM PST
That sounds so cool! Has the lack of color graphics made any difference to anybody?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2008 11:47:18 AM PST
I've not cared, but all my text is... well, text so I've not had any trouble.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2008 2:23:39 PM PST
OlManRivah says:
Well it does limit the experience in some cases.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2008 11:33:19 PM PDT
how do you highlight in the kindle??? I am a new college student, i would like to limit the amount of textbooks i'd have to buy since i've already have a very disorganized life with family and home... It looks like the kindle is more problematic using math text, so I guess I'll go ahead and buy the actual textbook instead of using the kindle for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2008 11:34:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 3, 2008 11:48:44 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2008 11:34:27 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 3, 2008 11:34:42 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2008 1:51:26 PM PDT
I bought my Kindle while at the University of Texas pursuing an MS degree in Technology Commercialization (similar to an MBA in a lot of ways). For the few textbooks that were available on the Kindle, I LOVED it. When I had my Kindle out during class, the mention of a topic in one book and my ability to quickly search for that topic across all of my textbooks, gave me a definite advantage. Additionally, I converted some of my own notes to pdf and uploaded them to my Kindle for quick reference in class. Also, the fact that I live in Houston and was going to school in Austin 16 hours per week, meant transporting all of my heavy books back and forth to class each week. After the Kindle purchase, the size and weight of my bookbag was greatly reduced.

Finally, because the program I was in had a distinct focus on innovative technologies, I actually led a discussion with several program representatives and students discussing the potential for such technologies down the road. In our program, books were provided to us. At the beginning of each semester, we each received a box full of books and materials compiled by our instructors. My vision for the future was that at the beginning of the program each student would receive a Kindle loaded with materials. This could include syllabi, textbooks, articles, audio presentations, materials authored by our instructors, and more. Our global classroom would have been greatly enhanced by such portable access to an entire collection of related materials. This is my vision of the classroom of the future.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 10:51:36 AM PST
S. Spencer says:
Is there anything in Kindle 2 that makes textbook use more convenient. Frankly, if I could get 90 percent of my books on Kindle, at a slightly reduced cost than traditiona books and the diagrams, chapter headings etc. are user friendly, I'd buy one in a second just so I don't have to lug books around. Any updates on using a kindle for academic purposes?

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 11:15:58 AM PST
Brad says:
Did I understand one of the previous posts correctly?? The ToC works on the Kindle? I mean I can go to an entry in the ToC then jump to that page? That would help an awful lot to offset the lack of functionality in the index. You would still have to jump back and forth between the index and the ToC, but it beats guessing reference numbers.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 11:28:51 AM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
Geek, it depends on how the book was formatted by the publisher. I do have an "active" TOC (Table of Contents) in my article, but I did have to put in the html (hypertext mark-up language) in mine that made that work.

Bufo Calvin
Author, Free Books for Your Kindle

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 12:11:56 PM PST
TiffanyS says:
I would think the Kindle 2 would be more diagram and picture friendly because of the improved gray scale. I too purchase as many of my textbooks as there are available on the Kindle and absolutely love this option. I would hope that Amazon is exploring the school application avenue. I work in education and would jump at the chance to pilot a class or program with the Kindle. I've asked before and gotten the standard, pardon me, "textbook" answer to my offer. ;)

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 12:42:15 PM PST
I can't imagine anyone who's as sharp as Mr. Bezos wouldn't jump at the chance to get textbooks for the Kindle. The ones you need to go after are the publishers!

Having graduated from college in the dark ages, when the most sophisticated hardware available was an electric typewriter, I can see how great the Kindle could be. It would have been perfect for me, as an English major - Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, et al in a format I could carry in one hand. Oh, yeah!

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 8:00:36 AM PST
JacquiO says:
Forget a mother of a high schooler, I would welcome the relief from the 40 pound bookbag my kid has to lug around (causing who-knows-how-much spinal damage). Maybe we should get the Gates Foundation investigating the idea of public school systems using the Kindle for their textbooks?

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 7:19:50 PM PDT
B. Zenda says:
I am a History major and often times have to read lengthy photocopied materials that my professors pull from their personal collections. I figured out a relatively easy way to read them on my Kindle 2. In Microsoft Office Tools there is something called "Imaging." You can choose to scan as text and the computer uses OCR (optical character recognition) to put the document on the screen and allow you to highlight the text. Then copy and paste whatever you want from Imaging into a blank Word document. Save as .txt and email to "username" Amazon will send it back to you as a kindle file and if you have the USB cable it is a simple drag and drop into the documents file on your Kindle.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 9:01:58 PM PDT
J. Orgovan says:
Forget a mother of a high schooler, I would welcome the relief from the 40 pound bookbag my kid has to lug around (causing who-knows-how-much spinal damage). Maybe we should get the Gates Foundation investigating the idea of public school systems using the Kindle for their textbooks?
I bought a K1 for one of my 3 HS children. He loves it for all of his English assignments. the classics that he has to read for school he gets for free, his alternate reading assignments are also free because he loves old literature. Any information that his teacher posts on her website he copies to a doc and sends to his kindle via the free conversion service so he has it on hand in class the next day. On test days when notes are allowed, he has them on his Kindle (with whispernet off). He can highlight and print out his notes. And his backpack is about 8 lbs lighter than it used to be.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 11:21:50 AM PDT
I'm with B. Tackitt. My son and his junior high school friends weigh well under 100 pounds, and they are toting fifty pound backpacks. This can't be good for growing spines. When will kids' textbooks be available on Kindle? They urgently need a lighter load.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 3:16:59 PM PDT
Atlas says:
Hi, I am mother of a would-be college freshman. My daughter's teacher recommended Kindle (along with other text-to-speech technologies) to her to improve the reading speed. I am completely new to this. Would you please share your thoughts on: 1) how does Kindle work? Do you pay an upfront fee and use their service later? 2) what do you see as the major advantage of using Kindle? Search? Reference? 3) will an Apple have the same features as those you mentioned for Microsoft? e.g. send in any Word document and receive a converted Kindle file? Thank you so much!

Posted on May 6, 2009 9:57:52 PM PDT
Onchu says:
I desperately want to buy this new Kindle. Unfortunately, the only way I would be able to afford one is if I stop eating, or if it offsets the $350 or so I spend a semester on used books. I took a look at the textbooks I'll need next semester, and not a single one is available on the Kindle Store, and only one is digital at all. It's a great idea who's implementation is long overdue, but if I can't get the books I need, it's just another toy I want but won't get. Maybe in a few years...
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  Feb 12, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 16, 2011

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