Could Kindles solve textbook dilema?
Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 00:10
Back in my hometown of Clearwater, FL, the local high school recently passed out the Amazon Kindle to over 2,000 students.
For those of you who are not familiar, the Kindle is an electronic reading device which can upload books instantly via the internet, has a built in dictionary, audio option and memory for electronic notes. The Kindle is smaller than the I-pad, but comfortably larger than the I-phone.
So, now I am curious, would life be better as an English major if the Kindle was provided? Let's consider each argument:
Surely if a school in the shambled Florida public school system can afford to pass out Kindles, perhaps a minimal spike in tuition, or an option to do so, could provide a Kindle to a reading-intense major?
If FGCU wanted to provide Kindles to english, education, and perhaps history majors (sorry sciences, I don't think textbooks would be ideal for this device,) how many of us would be willing to pay an extra 50 dollars to hold the latest technology in our hands? This is assuming funds are allocated from other sources; we buy in bulk so the prices are low- and that we are even charged at all.
Think about it. No more bookstore lines, no more waiting for packages. You could order all of your books and receive them all at the same time. Not to mention prices for an electronic book are much cheaper. You wouldn't have to lug around a bag full of five to eight novels as you trekked from class to class. I know my right shoulder bears the load on Mondays when I have all my English classes. What would keep us away from the idea of electronically updating our majors?
Aside from the money, I personally run into one more conflict: the book itself. I personally love holding the book, placing it on my shelf with all of my other books, picking it up and flipping through the pages, the smell of a new or used book. I love scribbling notes down, or words I do not know so I can look them up after I am done reading.
The way technology is moving it sure makes things more convenient. But is it completely necessary? I would wait in line (or for my Amazon package) if it meant my books will be on my shelf, waiting for me to revisit like an old friend,instead of on a memory card.
Carrying a heavy Shakespeare Complete Anthology around when we could just carry a Kindle instead, buying electronic books for $2.39 instead of $20.00. That sounds more appealing.
It doesn't look like this is in our near future. It seems if one had the option to use the Kindle for certain classes and buy books for another, it could be a great system to put into place. I know that I would still buy hard copies of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and other authors, but I wouldn't think twice about electronically buying some selections as well.