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Changeable Textbooks

February 22, 2010 6:24:55.537

I like the idea of textbooks that can be updated:

Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations.

However, that's not really the reason this idea is being pushed:

The modifiable e-book editions will be much cheaper than traditional print textbooks. "Psychology," for example, which has a list price of $134.29 (available on Barnes & Noble's Web site for $122.73), will sell for $48.76 in the DynamicBooks version.

That price cut is intended to gut the market for used textbooks (just like game publishers would like to gut that trade in their space). At least for textbooks, it's driving prices down.

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posted by James Robertson

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