When I went to college, there were days I’d carry over 20-pounds of books to school in a backpack. Of course, we had it tough back then, “We used to ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick the road clean wit’ tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit’ bread knife.”
Seriously, though, textbooks were, and still is, a major pain to the back, not to mention hurting my wallet. That’s changing now. The rise of e-readers, like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook and, what I see e-readers’ replacements, tablets like Apple’s iPad, the Cisco Cius and the upcoming wave of Android Linux powered tablets will replace textbooks.
You can already use tablets to highlight sections in your e-books and add notes to them. It’s a bit clumsy though now. Barnes & Noble wants to make it easier.
In its just announced NOOKstudy program study, this application will integrates instant eTextbooks downloads with support for searchable lecture notes, the class syllabus, color slides and images, and other course-related documents, and more. If all goes well with the closed beta testing, you’ll be able to download the free NOOKstudy this fall.