Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is it Time for Digital Textbooks?

Oh heck yeah!

As the mom of two college aged kids, I definitely believe it's time to get my college students to buy digital textbooks. On Sunday, I was surprised to read an article in my hometown newspaper about the Texas legislature passing the initial phase of making money available for our public schools to purchase ditigal textbooks. One Texas House member went as far as to say that kids look at paper textbooks much as we look at a horse and buggy.

Everyone here knows I'm a big advocate of reading green. Maybe it's because I write 'green' too but no, that's not the only reason. Ebooks are cheaper and protect the environment and wow, isn't it nice to be able to tote your library around in your purse? Color me a slave to convenience but e-books ROCK and so do the devices we read them on.

I digress though. I'm actually talking more about our kids at this point. Last November, Business Week magazine published an article about how digital textbooks are a viable option for college kids who are sick of paying almost $900 per year on textbooks. Since the 1980's, the cost of textebooks has tripled. Books that might run $100 each in a college bookstore are available in places on line such as Cingage Learning's iChapters for half the price. No special reading device, such as the Sony or Kindle is needed (although they could certainly be used). A laptop will do the trick and most college kids have one. What is super cool about these digital reads is that information is embedded into the book such as audio tracks, video clips and hyperlinks. Handy, huh?

True, these books can't be sold back to the campus bookstore. That is a real downside but, as a former college student, I can't tell you how many times I re-sold my books and felt I'd been hugely ripped off. And how many times did you sign up for a class thinking you'd buy 'used' only to learn a new, updated version was now required? That happened to me a gazillion times. Yeah. RIP-OFF.

I would love to talk my kids into digital versions of textbooks. I'm working on them.

But I must say, I thought it was very cool that states are looking into making digital textbooks available to our elementary through high school grades. I believe, in the long run, schools and taxpayers would save some money and our kids would love working with advanced technology.

Now for some shameless self promotion!
Today my regency historical Chasing Temptation is available at Resplendence Publishing. So if you are a fan of ultra hot regency please check it out HERE!

Chasing Temptation
Regina Carlysle


London’s Haute Ton calls her Miss Temptation. But Elizabeth Grayson can’t be bothered by society’s diversions while seeking justice for her murdered sister. She is a woman on a dangerous mission. Now is not the time for mindless social engagements or courtships from men she has no intention of marrying. However, Christian Delaford is no ordinary man. He stirs her like no one she has ever met before. His eyes speak of sin and tangled sheets. Of decadent nights spent in his arms. Far too diverting for her peace of mind.

Christian Delaford, the Duke of Haverton, must be married by midnight of his birthday or forfeit his heritage to a distant relation. After years of living a hedonistic life in the Orient, the thought of binding himself forever to an insipid English Miss fairly curls his toes. London’s current ‘diamond of the first water’, however, changes his mind. In Elizabeth, he finds a bold and daring woman who harbors a terrifying secret. He vows to chase Miss Temptation, to the ends of the earth if needs be, and save her from the forces that would tear them both apart.


Unknown said...

Some of the high schools here are already doing etextbooks. I love the idea. It would eliminate the way to heavy backpack problem that so many kids deal with. A lot of kids have back problems before they hit high school. They're easier to update and should cost less.

Unknown said...

I'm a college student and I'm all for being green! I'm trying to go green as much as I possibly can. I think this is a great idea to have digital textbooks. I'm on my computer most of the day anyway so my book would be right there.

Julia Barrett said...

Congrats on the release - sounds amazing! Digital textbooks. Hmmm...
Yes, I see the cost advantages - textbooks run $500+ per semester for my daughter and she's my third college kid. She does sell them back. Plus, you have to remember how heavy it is to carry around your laptop and your books when you're either walking or biking around campus. On some level, I hate the thought of leaving behind the world of printed books, but...when it comes to textbooks, it's probably a very cost-effective, reasonable and realistic alternative. Of course, this kid is a biology major so her course load has been heavy on the over-sized textbooks!

Unknown said...

I love the idea of digital. I hope when my youngest makes it to college that's the way. With the way her back hurts now from carrying books in middle school, I could save on PT!
Congrats on the new release and wishes for many, many sales.

vickyb said...

I think it's a great idea - providing the legislature allows funds for those kids who can't afford laptops - and there are those out there. I wish we'd had the option when I went through. Would have saved my back and shoulders an awful lot of stress!

Kathy Otten said...

I'm all for digital college text books. You don't always have the book you need with you, but you generally have your lap top, or at least a flash drive. My kids have wasted so much money buying books they'll only use for ten weeks. It's ridiculous. My daughter even had one arogant professor who required every student to buy his self-published book, and it wasn't even used in class.

Mia Watts said...

Posted on your personal blog, but warrants saying again. Believe some schools in Asia do utilize eTextbooks. Will have to go research more, but I firmly believe we are headed in that direction and it's a very good change.

Mia Watts said...

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Congratulations on your release, Rita. Perhaps will be an eText for sex education or relational studies at University?

Fran Lee's Romance Blog said...

I've been into e-books for a long time. I wish all my old favorite romances were in e-boo. No book shelves! ;)

Regina Carlysle said...

I especially like the idea these books are embedded with other stuff...video, audio. How cool is that?

Regina Carlysle said...

Well, many of us have been there and done that with college textbooks. I always cringed at how little money I got back when re-selling. It's definitely a drawback that the books can't be re-sold, but if the price is much much lower to begin with, not such a big deal.

Regina Carlysle said...

Vickyb, I had the same thought about lower income kids. That's a problem. I do think some schools furnish laptops to their students but it's not an across the board deal. Surely there would be a way to make them available to everyone.

I think if wireless devices go down in price they might be a good investment for schools.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I think its a fantastic idea. Why not take advantage of the technology we have?

Genella deGrey said...

I always thought college text books were absurdly over-priced. I mean, really, would it kill them to sell the book for $20 as opposed to 70 or 100 bucks? It's required reading. A class of 25 people HAVE to buy the book - that's a guaranteed mass purchase. Gouging the student in any way is just wrong.

Go eText! I'm totally for it.

Regina! "Chasing Temptation" sounds yummy! Time to replenish funds in the paypal account!


Anne Rainey said...

Congrats on the release, Regina!

Digital, yes!! And Connie--I didn't know high schools were already doing something like this. Hurray for them!! My youngest daughter's backpack is so heavy I can barely pick it up. That's just ridiculous if you ask me. And she can't put her stuff in her locker because they don't give the students enough time to go back to their locker to get their stuff btwn classes. Very frustrating!

Regina Carlysle said...

Yeah, Anne, both my kids had problems with lockers sizes and all the books. Totally ridiculous.

Regina Carlysle said...

Go to the link that Mia posted. Very interesting. An entire college going digital.

I just got back from lunch with my husband and the news was on at the restaurant. There was a segment about this very thing! Coincidence! Apparently NYU and other New York Universities are touting Kindle to their students for their textbooks. Some profs also want their students to subscribe to newspapers and magazines and Kindle would take care of all of that.

There are some new wireless devices coming soon too so it'll be interesting to see how they're priced.

Amy Ruttan said...

Congrats on your release, and yeah text books should be so digital.

Regina Carlysle said...

Thanks, Amy! I love release days!

Yeah, I'm with you. At least there should be options.