Kindles for Textbooks, Please

Mary-Kate Engstrom and Mary-Kate Engstrom

High schools and colleges across the country are trading in their textbooks and paperback novels in exchange for the Kindle. New versions of the Kindle are coming out yearly and designs are aimed at students.

After a long day of school and a grueling two-hour sports practice, the last thing you want to do is read two chapters of Great Expectations. The Kindle’s text-to-read tool can read both those chapters to you at your chosen speed so you can take a break. Other handy features include highlighting for your AP Euro summer reading, copying and saving certain passages for your World History annotative bibliography, and bookmarking so you can start right where you left off in Romeo and Juliet.

And in case you forgot your Kindle at school, you can open the book you’re reading on your iPhone, iPad, or any computer.  Students in the Acalanes Union School District are benefiting from similar technology.

“The benefits I’ve seen on eReaders at Acalanes High School in a small, one class pilot, is that the students said they were able to annotate and look up words much easier,” said Acalanes Union School District’s technology specialist, Cheryl Davis. “They were reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a freshman English class. In the survey after the iPod Touch eReader pilot at Acalanes, a majority of students in the class said they enjoyed reading the book on the iPod Touch and felt it was a benefit.”

Every year, around 6,000 children in the United States suffer from back injuries due to overweight backpacks.

“I have back and neck problems from carrying too many books. My physical therapist and I agree that if Kindles were used instead of textbooks my problems along with many other’s problems would go away,” said sophomore, Kiley Fillinger.

Not only would the Kindle save space in backpacks but it would also clear up cluttered classrooms.
At $139 apiece, some say the Kindle is too expensive. However, when used properly, the Kindle would end up saving you money. Digital books and textbooks are considerably less expensive and there are thousands
of free books available on the device.

One example of the Kindle’s frugalness is the AP US History textbook, The American Pageant 14th Edition. The physical textbook costs $128 on Amazon.com, but digitally, it only costs $43. In addition to the digital books being cheaper, one Kindle can share all of its books with five other Kindles. With this in mind, the The American Pageant 14th Edition textbook would cost less than $9 a Kindle.

Everywhere you go people are “going green” and trying to save the environment by using less paper. The Kindle is one way Miramonte can contribute to this movement. With the Kindle, Miramonte could recycle thousands of novels and textbooks. As well as saving paper, the newest Kindle only has to be charged once a month so it takes up a nominal amount of energy.

On the contrary, however, some students may irresponsibly loose their Kindles or accidentally break them. Despite this possible setback, the Kindle is environmentally and physically better, cheaper, and more resourceful than textbooks. With this in mind, Miramonte should replace textbooks with the Kindle.