Almost one year ago, Amazon launched the Kindle with the sole purpose of cornering the digital books market. For those of you that don’t know, this gadget is a fully functional digital library. Since our previous story on the Kindle, Amazon has made some much-needed updates including a larger screen, sleeker profile, and greater storage capacity. They have also integrated a 3G wireless network enabled browser within the system to allow for a 60 second download of your favorite title.
In an attempt to broaden the uses of this device to college students around the world, Amazon has made an agreement, dubbed “The Kindle Project,” with six universities. Amazon has agreed to provide the Fall 2009 freshman class of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Pace University, Princeton University, Reed College, Darden School at the University of Virginia and Arizona State University with Kindle devices preloaded with electronic versions of their chemistry, computer science and freshman seminar classes. This is by far the most optimistic attempt of a company to circumvent the high costs associated with collegiate reading materials. Amazon has already made deals with multiple textbook publishers to have their scholastic titles available for download by the fall.
The efforts by Amazon to produce a lower cost alternative to reading materials issued by colleges are fantastic. Seeing as how we are actively moving out of the analog age and into one of digital superiority, this gadget has been a long time coming. No longer will students burden themselves under the high prices and weight of college textbooks.
This device sounds amazing, but I don’t know if I like it. I enjoy reading. With this passion come certain properties, such as holding a paperback book or physically turning the pages. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I won’t be looking forward to the Amazon Kindle. I’ll take my overpriced paperback any day of the week.