Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Barnes And Noble To Power Textbooks?

When the iPad came out, I had hoped that it would truly revolutionize the textbook market. Granted that it has been a mere 2 or 3 months since the iPad has been on the market and granted that Apple has sold a gazillion of them (okay, more like 3+ million), there is almost nothing I've heard about the textbooks.

Maybe Barnes And Noble's upcoming Nookstudy can do something about that. It'll be released in August and though I'm not longer a professional student, I intent to download it as I am a curious creature, interested in all things.
But will this do what the iPad hasn't been able to do so far? Oh, and Kindle tried but failed big time so far. I hope so.  Is Nookstudy going to make a difference?

Forget about changing mobile study for a second. eBooks are environmentally friendlier than textbooks. No trees are killed in the process. And yes, there are environmental issue associated with making of and disposal of mobile devices, if students are going to be carrying a laptop and tablets anyway, eTexbooks and eBooks should be a part of the learning equation when it comes to trying to stay green in the process. And not having to carry around four to five textbooks every time you want to go to the library to study is a big plus for the back. If anyone is going to suffer from a transition to digital learning, it'll be the printing and paper industry as well as the people who makes and sells millions of new backpacks at the start of school every year.

Given the snail-like pace of the digital textbook revolution thus far, having BN push into the eTextbook market is a good thing but I don't anticipate big changes. After all, now should be the perfect time for textbook guys and Apple, Amazon, or BN to be making a huge push in this segment.

It's mid-July and this window is closing fast as the start of the school year is 6-8 weeks away. Still, BN's Nookstudy is a move in the right direction as it offers many study aids and tools.

Also, BN is say quite a few interesting things on its Nookstudy page. 40% Off eTexbooks, 500k free eBooks, ability to open up more than one textbooks or pages, instant access to all notes. all this sound great.

I do wonder about the number of textbooks that will be available on day one. And maybe this is the push by BN that I'm talking about. It's gotta start somewhere, right?

Impact: There will be a big impact but only time will tell if BN's Nookstudy will have an immediate or more of a gradual change in mobile learning. But the writing is on the wall. eBooks, eTextbooks, and digital learning is here to stay. The sooner folks get onboard, the less hurting there will be. Also, this is likely to impact the tablet market big time as well.

More at Treehugger and BN's Nookstudy page.

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