Unnervingly, book apps record data about how we read, including which books we do and don’t finish, how long we spend reading them, and where we give up, if we do. And niftily, that information can be passed on to publishers.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the same technology is soon to be used by universities to monitor students’ reading. CourseSmart, which sells digital versions of the big publishers’ textbooks, announced [its] new program last week.
Luckily, for now, this software is being piloted at only three universities. But it is, almost inevitably, coming our way.
Your reading behaviour is being monitored: Part II » MobyLives.
Textbooks are a thing of the past, says the common wisdom. Well, the common wisdom of the Technorati maybe. The problem with that thinking is that the number one publisher in the world is Pearson, a textbook publisher, who brought in $7.75 billion in 2009.
Pearson, as Tim Carmody noted in a January Wired article, owns 50 percent of the Financial Times, as well as the number two trade house: Penguin. The second largest textbook publisher, McGraw-Hill, owns Standard and Poor’s. To say textbooks are big business is like saying bullets are ouchie.
So writing the obituary for textbooks would be putting the cart before the horse. But pretending like they are not changing their shape, if not their nature, is to proclaim, from one’s buggy, that automobiles are a passing fad.
Future U: The stubborn persistence of textbooks | Ars Technica.
College e-textbooks have long been seen as salvation by many textbook publishers. That hope may be misguided. According to a Seattle Times report , in a study conducted on computer science students that will be released next week, researchers at the University of Washington found that, “Seven months into the study, more than 60 percent of the students had stopped using their Kindle regularly for academic reading — and these were computer science students, who are presumably more sympathetic to an electronic book.”
via MOBYLIVES » Study: E-readers not doing it for computer science students.