From Tree Hugger: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/ever-broken-textbook-beyond-repair-now-ibooks-you-can.html?campaign=daily_nl
January 23, 2012
I've dropped a lot of textbooks during my time in school. Usually, it's not a big deal: maybe a corner gets bent, maybe the spine cracks, maybe a page or two tears. Even dropping a textbook in the bathtub isn't such a problem—if you lay it out to dry, it's readable again in a day or so. Maybe I'm clumsier than the average person. But based on the state of used textbooks I've purchased, I don't think I'm the only one who occasionally drops textbooks.
That's why Apple's announcement of iBooks Textbooks worries me, as a graduate student, English teacher, and advocate of user repair.
On Thursday, Apple announced iBooks 2 (a new version of their iPad e-book software) along with two new projects: iBooks Textbooks and iBooks Author. They've made an agreement with three of the largest textbook publishers—Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—to begin publishing interactive textbooks for the iPad. Right now, they only have seven K-12 textbooks available, but more are promised soon. iBooks Author, drag-and-drop self-publishing software, should allow professors to create interactive iBooks textbooks with ease.
We're excited for iBooks Textbooks. But we have concerns about the durability of the only device on which they can be viewed. Most devices made with the classroom in mind are designed to last forever (brick-like TI calculators, for example), or at least are modular enough to be repairable. We know repair technicians who successfully maintain a school's worth of MacBooks. Apple can make repairable modular devices; the iPad 2 isn't one of them.