Kno, the company that had been designing a two-paned e-textbook tablet reader before deciding to get out of the hardware market and concentrate on software for existing tablets, has released a survey that states that American college students hate lugging books around so much that 73% of them would be willing to give up sex if it let them avoid carrying books. (Gee, I didn’t think a Kindle made you look that nerdy.)
I find it a little ironic this study came from Kno, since their proposed (and abandoned) textbook reader would have been as heavy as a laptop, or at least a couple of textbooks, itself.
The study also touched on the inconvenience and cost of paper books—students brought up problems such as not having the right book around when it was time to study, losing books, or missing pages, and 87% of the students said they had to cut back on other expenses to pay for their textbooks.
The new Kindle textbook rental program certainly seems like a solution to some of these problems, though format limitations mean it will still leave some things to be desired for textbooks that rely heavily on pictures and graphics. It remains to be seen how color tablets (such as those Kno originally planned) will work out.
This study gives me a very poor opinion of the current crop of American college students. Speaking personally, I would have happily carried around twice the weight of books if it would have resulted in more sex. And I carried around a LOT of books (anchored by a hardback complete Shakespeare). Hell, I would have happily carried around an anvil.
Answering a question in a survey is a very different proposition from actually doing without sex. I bet if you gave people an ereader with all their heavy books loaded on it, warned them that it would be exchanged for a pile of heavy books if they had sex, and then wired them up to some sort of orgasm-detector, soon most people would be lugging round heavy books again.