What happened to text books?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by BeachChair, May 14, 2010.

  1. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I honestly thought iPad would bring the reinvention of the text book. I imagined text books buyable from apple or amazon and with annotation/notetaking features built right into the book reader app.

    Is anyone using it for text books?
  2. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    It probably will come in time. In my opinion, in order for textbooks to be a big hit on the iPad, Apple will have to work out a deal with publishers. Right now, eBooks are not much (if at all) cheaper than the physical copy. Reasonable prices and fair DRM deals will have to be met before textbooks on the iPad will replace physical books.

    I'd love to see this become a reality.
  3. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    It probably takes quite a bit of time to develop a good textbook that also takes full advantage of the touch-based interactivity of the iPad. However after one of them comes out and gets popular, I'm sure we'll see more.
  4. nsorrelle macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2010
    There are some textbooks available through coursesmart, but I was disappointed to see that none of my summer classes have books available on there. Here's hoping more publishers will get there books on there.
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I'd love to replace my textbook and reference libray, it's easy close to 100 books and periodical collections. I wouldn't mind rebuying them in the least.
  6. OGDaniel macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2009
    It's not like it's Apple's fault. It's the publisher that's screwing us over. Once textbooks come on the iPad though it will be the ultimate educational tool.
  7. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007

    One of the biggest problems right now is a standard for the textbooks, do we use PDF for it? ePubs isn't really that great for textbooks that have a lot of graphics and complex tables. You want to be able to select text, highlight and annotate textbooks, I honestly don't think ePubs is good for that. PDF is the tool for that and Apple doesn't have a PDF app with all of those interactive features like that on the iPad.

    Secondly, textbook publishers are the slowest to adapt to changes and such we shouldn't be surprised that it hasn't taken off yet. O'Reilly type of publishers are not the same as the traditional publishers and they all really need to start following O'Reilly's publishing method with DRM-free multiple formats including textbook/ebook bundle.

    It'll take time, look at how long it takes Apple to start selling DRM-free MP3 music.
  8. steel magnolia macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    South Florida/ N.C.
    Not positive about this but someone told me they could download textbooks through Amazon/kindle app. I think it will just be a matter of time before this becomes the standard...would be nice.

  9. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I downloaded their app against my better judgment based on their extremely poor reviews. The textbooks I looked up had a "subscription" you purchased, for example one book I found had a 180 day subscription for $43. Absolutely not, if I purchase a book I want it to be mine forever just like the hard copy.

    From what I gather on their website there might be some forever books, but I could not find them and their site is a bit confusing. I'd be curious what your experience has been as they did have some textbooks I'd purchase, but not as a subscription that expires.
  10. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    eTextbooks from CourseSmart works pretty good. I like the built in search.
  11. opticalserenity macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2007
    I don't want a separate app, I want it to work with iBooks. But yes i want text books also.
  12. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    And when the instructor says to turn to page 95? (And your ePub version doesn't have the same thing on page 95 as the printed edition...)

    And how do you cite an ePub?

    Has this issue been addressed on Kindle or other electronic platforms?
  13. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    For most colleges school is ending. See 'em in the Fall.
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Well I think it is the greed of the publishing industry in a large part. And with 16 million college students in the US as of Dec 2009, Apple not being able to deliver a critical mass of the iPads to even supply 25% of the students.

    I have said before that publishers are unwilling to give up profits - even if their costs go down - even without added media content. Look at Time Magazine and the insane price of $5 for the iPad right now.

    Tried to look at the true costs of textbooks at this link - http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/where-the-new-textbook-dollar-goes-58581727.html - but came away with a dead link.

    IMHO the e-editions of any printed material should be lower due to the magazine or book not needed to be printed. And that there is a savings in transportation cost. Add to that they don't have to "buy back" any product that is not sold - depending of course on the contract that they have with the bookstore.

    There is also a cost savings to students that can be had with e-editions when asked to use the same textbook over multiple semesters. Have heard a few had to buy the same textbook at least twice! :eek:

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