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Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, introduces the
at a news conference in New York. (AP)

Textbooks Could Be the Next Frontier for Amazon’s Kindle

August 26, 2008 04:42 PM
by Emily Coakley
A new version of Amazon’s electronic book reader may mean students will no longer have to lug backpacks filled with heavy books.

New Versions Due in Fall ’09

A new version of Amazon’s Kindle, an electronic book reader, may be marketed to students in high school and college, reports Andrea James in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog. The PI post didn’t specify how a new version might differ from the existing Kindle.

At Crunchgear, John Biggs quoted an unnamed insider who “let slip” that Amazon is planning to release two new versions of the device: a large Kindle the size of a sheet of paper that could be available next year, and an improved version which should be available in the fall.

If the larger Kindle is released, it could be useful for high school and college educators who are increasingly relying on textbooks published online. As findingDulcinea explains, they are cheaper and more up-to-date than their print versions.
Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch said that although many textbooks are published electronically, right now there’s no good device on which to read them, with Kindle’s current screen being too small, and laptop batteries having too short a lifespan.

“A new large screen Kindle would solve those problems,” Arrington wrote. “The battery life is much longer than most electronic devices, and carrying a large Kindle is still a lot better than carrying ten heavy textbooks.”

Related Topics: Kindle sales; are book-of-the-month clubs doomed?

In February, Amazon’s CEO said Kindle sales were “out-pacing our expectations.” Read about the release of this wireless electronic book reader and see what tech critics had to say about it.

Kindle’s release has fueled predictions that printed books may be extinct one day. Technology already seems to have hurt one aspect of publishing: the subscription-based book club, in which publishers send a pre-selected book to customers at a discount.

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