The Marketplace Reader

Fewer textbooks to carry with Kindle?

Richard Core Aug 25, 2008

The ARS Technica website has a report that Amazon may enter the college textbook market with a new version of its Kindle electronic reading device.

Provided enough college texts could be produced in a Kindle-friendly format, it would appear that the time may be near for such a device. The cost of college textbooks has been soaring, prompting some students to go the file-sharing route, the article says.

The college textbook market has been challenged lately by a number of digital initiatives, some of which are less legal than others. Savvy students who are getting sick of paying thousands of dollars for textbooks every year are beginning to scan them and put them on BitTorrent in droves. So far, publishers seem content with sending takedown notices to the sites that catalogue them instead of filing costly lawsuits. Still, even professors are outraged by the state of the textbook market, and some are pursuing legal alternatives to torrents by offering open-source textbooks and posting materials on wikis, blogs, and other social sites.

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