Using Digital Textbooks to Reduce Waste

zinio.gifI recently bought an electronic copy of my marketing textbook from SafariX. Despite the obvious environmental benefits, I was skeptical about using it. But after giving it a try, i have to say, it works pretty well (aside from the annoying heat my laptop gives off).
While electronic press will never fully replace paper books – unless we invent truly paper thin electronic media – the area is clearly a growing field. In addition to SafariX, another company to watch is SF based Zinio. They offer “exact replicas” of the printed versions at half the price, with the added benefits of search functionality, digital note-taking, and embedded multimedia.”
There are some major drawbacks to electronic textbooks of course. One is the fact that I already spend so much time staring at this laptop that another few hours makes me feel as though my eyeballs are melting. Also, the only real way to prevent people from copying the book and passing it around is to make it available online-only in such a format that is impossible to download. This means that if you like to study away from an internet connection (on an airplane for example), you can’t. Still, there is a legitimate argument to be made that the process is indeed “greener” and companies in the field are sure to thrive.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

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