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Is This “Self-Destructing” Book The Future Of Reading?

Author James Patterson’s new thriller might be a sign of e-books to come.

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I’ve never read anything by James Patterson, author of the massively popular Alex Cross series, as well as numerous other bestselling thrillers and mystery stories. But, after hearing how his latest book is being promoted, I’ll admit, I’m intrigued. For Patterson’s upcoming Private Vegas, marketing company Mother New York rolled out a campaign that is charmingly novel in the immediate, and has the possibility to be much more impactful in the long term.

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Are College Libraries About to Become Bookless?

Thanks to the electronic book revolution, in the next decade, we could see the end of centralized campus libraries with hardbound texts.


The number of colleges using electronic textbooks available to students is on the rise. But what about the rest of the books on campus—the millions of volumes stored in the library? It turns out the digital text revolution is beginning to turn college libraries into places that no longer stock physical books.

As Time reports, the engineering libraries at Kansas State University, Stanford and the University of Texas are almost completely book-free. And now at Drexel University in Philadelphia, the new Library Learning Terrace, a 3,000 square foot residence hall-based space that opened in June, there are no books at all.

According to Danuta Nitecki, the dean of libraries at Drexel, the terrace is book-free since the role of libraries is changing. "We don't just house books, we house learning," she says. That means defining "a new kind of library environment," one that's decentralized across the campus. Indeed, the space is more like a study lounge. There are cozy chairs, movable tables for study groups meetings and gigantic whiteboards. And, since Drexel already has 170 million electronic books, journals or other academic material in their collection, all students need to do to access them is get online. If they don't know exactly what research source they should be looking for, librarians will be staffing the space, bringing their expertise to the students.

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Follow Florida's Lead: Why More States Should Switch to Digital Textbooks in Schools Now

All of Florida's public schools will switch to digital textbooks by 2015. Yes, it sounds expensive, but other states should be following suit.

It seems like digital textbooks have been the next big thing for years, but, with a few isolated exceptions, they haven't exactly been embraced by schools. That's about to change in Florida thanks to the gutsy passage of a law requiring all public schools in the state to make the switch to e-textbooks by the 2015-16 school year. Critics are a bit freaked out over this decision because education budgets are already tight and e-readers aren't free. But it's about time school districts make the move.

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