“KNO” YOUR TEXTBOOKS

Kno Books

If you don’t want to carry your textbooks around, or scan them into digital files yourself, Kno.com is a good way to go. They’ve digitized 100,000 textbooks and you can get them for 30 to 50 percent off the regular price. Read them on your computer or use their iPad app.

The iPad app has a nice Facebook feature: You can post your thoughts directly to your Facebook wall without leaving the page you’re on. It also has a “Journal” feature: Highlight text and it goes right into the Journal. Tap the Journal to see all your highlights. And not least of all, place your thoughts in a sticky note off to one side of the text. A new 3D feature lets you rotate, zoom and spin molecules and other objects.

We bought “Playwriting for Dummies” for $10. Kno has a 15-day return policy, but it’s a good idea to check Amazon for the title first. The prices were the same every time we checked, but Amazon lets you preview the book, something Kno doesn’t. Amazon, by the way, has a new “Cloud Reader,” so you can read digital books in your web browser without downloading a program first.

CourseSmart.com also has digitized textbooks. They didn’t have the playwriting book we found at Kno, or “Memoirs of Jane Austen” and other books that aren’t really textbooks per se, but they do have standard works, like “Biology, 10th Edition.” Their website claims they’re the leader for textbooks.

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