Last week, the Google Play store began to offer electronic textbooks for rent or purchase. The etextbooks listed in the store originate from some of the largest textbook publishers, such as Pearson, Macmillan Higher Education, and Wiley.
Google states that the etextbooks from the Google Play store could save students up to 80% off print-textbook prices while providing features not available with traditional textbooks. The etextbooks enable users to search for a word or phrase within the textbook, bookmark pages, annotate paragraphs, and highlight key thoughts. In addition, these etextbooks come with a “sepia” reading mode that Google claims may help ease the strain of electronic screens on the user’s eyes.
All etextbooks purchased through the Google Play store will be stored in the cloud, allowing readers to access the material on a variety of devices, including Android and iOS devices.
Some, however, are speaking out against Google’s latest move. Charles Schmidt, director of public relations for the National Association of College Stores, commented on Google’s entry into the etextbook selling business, saying “It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. College stores are still the best value for your dollar.”
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