New book store electronics give students cheaper alternatives: Stephanie Dilley

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Technology buffs may be excited to try out the new gadgets available on campus. The  Barnes and Noble Bookstore has begun selling Nook readers and tablets; both are examples of technology that may be advancing toward a world of paperless reading.

Four options are available: the 16 GB Nook Tablet priced at $249, the 8 GB Nook Tablet at $199, the Nook Color for $169 and the Nook Simple Touch for $99. The Nook Tablet and Nook Color can be loaded with apps, books, music and games, not unlike an iPad; the Nook Simple Touch allows you only to download books and read them. Greg Nikes, manager of the bookstore, says that the Nook tablets have been selling about ten times as fast as the other Nooks because they are faster, lighter and more portable.

Bookstore employee Bailey Griffin said that the Nooks have been selling quite fast and a lot more then she expected. Griffin said that, within the next year, textbooks will be able to be downloaded on the Nooks as well.

“If that happens, that would be a lot cheaper because you would just have like an e-book, and  you just put in the code on your Nook, and you’d have the whole book and everything,” Griffin said. “I don’t know how it would work with printing stuff out. They said they were working on Word documents too, where you can highlight and do stuff. So you actually pretty much have the book. You can even rent the books on the Nook too.”

Kris Brown, a junior music technology student who owns an e-reader, says that the benefits of using e-readers include instant downloads, lower prices, less clutter and mobility.

As of now, Nook owners can buy and download digital copies of their favorite fiction and non-fiction books.

Though textbooks aren’t available on the Nooks yet, approximately 50 percent of the textbooks are available online through a program called NookStudy, Nikes said. The textbooks can be downloaded and used through this application on a computer at a cheaper price than their paper counterparts. A typical paper biology book can be bought new for $162.56 or used for $126 and sold back for $66, according to the NookStudy website. The same book can be rented as an e-book for $42.56, at a savings of 73 percent.

E-reading’s popularity is growing rapidly. Tori Grable, a communication arts coordinator and teacher for the St. Joseph School District, recommends Nooks and other e-reading devices to her former students.

“I’m slowly making the transition,” Grable said.

She wonders if, and when, traditional books will disappear.

In edition to the Nooks and their hopeful future ability to download textbooks, Griffin said that students that receive financial aid can actually purchase the Nooks with their aid money rather then buying it outright.

“They are approved that if you can get financial aid and have money on your ID, you can use that to buy the Nook,” Griffin said. “They just approved this last semester. You can use your loan money or scholarship money. It’s a lot bigger of a deal than I thought it was going to be.”

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