Not Yet Good News

Amazon is promising textbook rentals on the Kindle that could save 80% over the cost of buying new.  That is good news, and any competition to break up the cozy and price-inflated textbook market is welcome.

But Amazon is going to have to rethink the Kindle and its software before this is ever going to work.  I am a huge fan of the Kindle (though I have switched my reading to the Kindle app on the iPad).  But it works best reading a book straight through.  Want to page back and find a particular section -- good luck.  The iPad app actually works better, with a touch screen slider that allows a little better browsing.  But for textbooks, they really need some kind of page navigation like coverflow in the iPod (which I hate by the way in the iPod but would love for pages in a textbook).

  • I've done kindle and PDF versions of TEoA ( and recommend that "textbook types" buy the PDF for it's page numbers (good for citing) and index.

    Kindles can side-load PDFs, so the main problem is the "HTML-ness" of the kindle format.

    Amazon needs to fix that up in terms of standards (footnotes, endnotes, citations, quasi page numbering, etc.)

  • Chegg is the way to go. Just rent the book and send it back.