Will eTextbooks Be The Future?

Knowledge@Wharton has a very good article on eTextbooks called "E-textbooks: The New Best-sellers" that discusses whether eTextbooks will replace traditional textbooks in the future.  They talk about the pros and cons of ebooks and whether people are ready to make the switch to electronic textbooks.  Our take: eTextbooks will take off for the higher education market and you won't see adoption for K-12 for many, many years.  The article gives the example of one textbook containing 904 pages and weighing 4.5 pounds.  That's one book.  Multiply that by a few more classes and we've got real chiropractic problems here!  eTextbooks haven't taken off so far because reading on a computer, even a netbook, just isn't the experience people want - we know - we've tried it.  We believe that people will adopt a device that is 1) lightweight, 2) instant one, 3) allows for note-taking 4) has decent battery life.  We believe that the iPad and some up and coming Android tablets can fit this bill.  Compatibility across platforms (and operating systems) WILL be a key issue and one publishers will need to pay a lot of attention to.  Here's hoping for a lighter briefcase!