Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to School and I Hate Paper Books

I finished registration today for Cyberlaw courses and it was an interesting experience on lots of levels. First, I felt quite out of place with all the young kids running around. By “young” I mean late teens, early 20’s. Second, I don’t enjoy academia, I have never enjoyed school. Third, I hate paper books.
Since getting my Kindle in 2009, I have read three non-technical books. That is three more than I have read in the last 5 years. The features to enlarge text, convert text to speech, and automatically provide word definitions and notes in book make it very useful. These features make it invaluable to me to provide the most efficient way for me to input information into my brain.
So back to the point, I went to the college bookstore to get my required books, hoping to find at least a couple later on for Kindle, maybe in PDF format on supplemental CD like a lot of technical books nowadays. Long story short, no such luck. The only options were electronic format was e-book for a couple titles, and that format is not compatible with Kindle.
So why don’t textbooks support more electronic formats? Money in resale. The textbook companies make money over and over again on the resale of book at only a slightly discounted price. Like the newspapers before them, they have no idea how to make money in this new media, so they are squeezing every cent they can get now, before they end up like the newspapers: bankrupt. In the meantime, we will have to keep paying top money for used books.

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