Your New Best Friend for Cheap Textbooks

[caption id="attachment_10524" align="alignleft" width="174" caption="Look familiar?"]Look familiar?[/caption]

Shopping for textbooks will still be painful for your wallet next year, but at least it will be easier. This fall, Blackboard will launch with a feature that lets you buy textbooks from Labyrinth online, at a 30% discount. Once you’ve registered for courses, you’ll be able to see the required and recommended books within Blackboard, pick the ones you like, charge them to your student account, and drop by Labyrinth for the pre-bagged set, making it simpler than ever to be a lazy college student.

Yes, it’s still limited to Labyrinth, and no, it does nothing about the Pequod monopoly, but it will list prices for books in all conditions – not just new. Even better, a Labyrinth representative said the reading lists will be available before the week classes begin, eliminating one of the only remaining inconveniences to shopping around for cheaper books online.

Saving paper and wasting money, the Princeton way



TechRadar reported today on Princeton’s pilot project for cutting down on paper usage by using Kindle e-books for course readings. Looks like we were right in our predictions earlier this week, but mistaken about one thing: the hardware. The project plans to use the new Kindle DX, released by Amazon today.

The awkwardly-titled “Toward Print-Less and Paper-Less Courses: Pilot Amazon Kindle Program” aims “to encourage students to work with documents online rather than rely on printing.” The University News reports that the initiative is funded under the auspices of the University’s Sustainability Plan.

The project basically looks like this:

Under the pilot, the reading materials for three courses due to start in the autumn will be loaded on Kindle DX devices. Participating students and faculty members in the selected courses will receive a free DX that they will be allowed to keep.

It’s a noble and ambitious move, sure, and apparently not all that expensive (at an actually reasonable $30,000 price tag for the University and no fee for participating students), but come on, this thing is going to fall flat on its face.

Reasons why after the jump.

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Free Kindles At Princeton?

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You might not have to make your way to Labyrinth to pick up your 30 pounds of textbooks next semester.

Princeton is joining the likes of Yale, Oxford and Berkeley in publishing its textbooks on Kindle, which weighs a hefty… 10.2 ounces.

Meanwhile, Engadget has acquired leaks of the new Kindle, which has a larger page display and an annotation feature. The new Kindle, which may be Amazon’s attempt to make its product more attractive to a younger generation (70 percent of Kindle users are over 40), launches tomorrow.

Wired thinks the new Kindle is  going to “clean up in the textbook market.”

Textbook sized pages? Check. Note-adding capabilities? Check. Support for standard e-documents (PDF)? Check, check, check.

But how can we get them FOR FREE?

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