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Saturday, December 2, 2023


New e-book options focus of town hall

UH’s Book Advisory Committee held its Bookstore Town Hall meeting and presented new study opportunities for students on Wednesday.

Barnes and Noble, which operates the University Center bookstore, now offers NOOKstudy, a free application for PCs and Macs that can be used to read graphic-heavy e-books.

“Five years ago, you only had new and used textbooks. Used books were the cheapest books on the market,” said Felix Robinson, general manager of UH Bookstores. “We’ve had a huge growth in the digital books. There were three books sold in the past, and the next two semesters sold 800 of those books.”

NOOKstudy allows students to upload their class notes to the application, file and organize books and notes based on classes.

Students can even take notes directly within the text. So if your professor gives you more information than is in the book, you can add it, Peters said.

Though the application has not been formatted to work on hand-held devices, as long as you have a notebook computer, you can download as many of the 2,000 textbooks available as your computer has room for.

Once you have downloaded your text, you do not need Internet to view the book. However, with Internet you can access Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and other information sites to help you study terms and ideas in your text, Peters said.

There are limitations with certain books, however.

“Depending on the copyright of a certain book, after three months, access to the book could disappear based on the length of each semester,” Robinson said.

Students hoping to avoid textbook costs by finding textbooks within the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library will not find any.

“A lot of people don’t know this about the library. It’s against library policy to order textbooks or to order them via InterLibrary Loan,” UH librarian Christie Peters said.

Either way, there are different ways to get books for cheap.

“The interaction between students and books has changed, but the interaction between students and faculty hasn’t changed. That communication could be better,” said Reyes Ramirez, Book Advisory Committee chairman. “One of the main causes of fear is not understanding when a student looks at a syllabus and thinks ‘I just can’t afford this.’”

Ramirez suggests that students get to know the options available when it comes to required texts.

To make life even easier for students, book lists with full information, i.e. ISBN, edition, publisher, author, title and copyright number will be available at the point of registration for classes.

“When you sign up for your classes, you should know what books you need. This is something we have been working on for years,” Jonas Chin, UH’s Constituent Relations coordinator said.

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