Answered By: Reference Librarian
Last Updated: 2014.Aug.14     Views: 202

At this point (Fall 2011) the e-book field is so new that there are a number of textbook formats available which are not compatible with each other.  For example. the Kindle cannot read downloads from Barnes and Noble, nor can the Nook read ebooks from Amazon.  Both Amazon and B&N sell e-textbooks.  Ship has not settled on a particular format so each faculty member decides what textbooks to use and if they are e-textbooks.

My personal advice - I just bought a Kindle Fire, which is the size of a paperback novel.  Although I read books, etc on it with no problem I can't imagine reading a full size textbook on it.  My son bought an Apple Ipad which is larger, much more versatile in what it can do and twice as expensive.  I have not had experience with the Nook.  I am not sure that any of the e-readers on the market are ready for textbooks yet.  For example, if you go to Barnes and Noble Textbooks [see link below],  they recommend that you read their e-textbooks on a laptop,  They have created some very impressive free software which you can download onto a laptop.

Until the e-textbook/e-reader market settles down, I would suggest buying a very light and portable 10 to 14 inch screen laptop which your daughter could read e-textbooks on and also work on papers, assignments, etc. 

This will probably change soon, but at least for this Xmas I think that a Kindle or a Nook would not be a great way to read a textbook.  You may want to look at e-textbook web sites to see if you can get a feel for what they might suggest.  As I said I have a Kindle Fire and an older e-ink Kindle and enjoy that format for reading novels, etc.

Feel free to contact me personally

Dr Doug Cook, Instruction Librarian,

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