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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here  ;D  HI!

I just got a Kindle for my birthday, a much wanted present :)

I read voraciously when I can... but I'll be returning to my master's program in the fall semester and I'm wondering if anybody here is 1) an English major and 2) using their Kindle for college.  Granted, most of my "textbooks" are just regular novels and the like... however, I'm just not sure how it's going to work.  Profs often refer to page numbers during class discussions.  And if I were to bring up a point about a quote or passage I don't think I could cite a page number.  Hell, now that I really think about it, the MLA will have to create standards on how to cite texts in Works Cited that have been accessed on a Kindle.

Anyway, just wondering if anybody else has successfully used their Kindle for college....
 

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There are a few college students who are members here. . .I'm sure they'll chime in with their observations and experiences.  There are also so threads where citing kindle editions was discussed. . . . .if I can find any I'll post the links.  Meanwhile, if you like, head down to the Introductions and Welcomes thread and tell us a little bit about yourself!

Welcome to KindleBoards and congrats on your new Kindle.

Ann
 

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Here's another one of my lists in no particular order of reasons I like my Kindle for college courses. Keep in mind I am a History major and English minor, so your mileage may vary. I'm lucky in that a lot of the things I have to read are not only available novels, but also in the public domain.

Searchability - This is hands down my favorite part of using a Kindle for Kollege (see what I did there?). This past semester I was writing my Senior Seminar in History final paper on Fashion and its effects on the Black Plague and vice versa. I was able to find so many resources just through the amazon site that I did the entire paper using nothing but my Kindle and JSTOR (I'd love the DX for the latter!). But since I could search through the books I got, I could download something like "A Journal of the Plague Year" and immediately find any and all passages mentioning cloth or fashion.

Portability - I had about 22 books over 3 classes this semester, and that's not counting Spanish. It was so bad that I had books literally falling out of the floorboard of my car. I got my Kindle about 3 weeks into the semester and was able to replace over half of those with ebooks. This was especially useful in my Craft of Fiction class where the professor kept alluding to texts we weren't discussing that week. I always had them with me. The downside was that my huge British Literature and Granta short story texts weren't available. They were those ridiculously thick books with the really thin pages that are so awkward to read and carry. But at least I got rid of some of the others.

Price - Of those 11 or so books I replaced, I managed to get several of them for free or as little as one or two dollars. These were all books that I had either purchased from the University Bookstore for $15 after waiting weeks for them to be available or online from places like half.com where I still had to pay $4 shipping on top of the low prices and then wait and pray they got delivered on time. Jane Eyre, Mrs. Dalloway, North and South, The Chronicles of Froissart, Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, Dante's Divine Comedy... I got them all for free or nearly so. From the Brink of the Apocalypse, What is the What and my Spanish-English Dictionary I had to pay a bit for, but still got them cheaper.

Highlights and Notes - I absolutely HATE highlighters. I never draw straight lines, the colors are always obnoxious and bleed through the pages and I never have the marker handy when I need it. That or I just flat out lose the thing. Then the awkwardness of trying to hold the book and highlight the text... being able to do it through my Kindle was enough to bring a tear to my eye. It was fast and didn't ruin the text. I could pull up a list of my highlights without having to flip through the book and hope I didn't miss it. I could even clip them all to a text file if I was so inclined for cutting and pasting goodness later. I NEVER highlight passages in Fiction, but now I always do and it helped immensely during book discussions in my Craft of Fiction class.

Book Discussions - A lot of people wonder how easy it'd be to use a Kindle in a reading group or the like, but I found it was even more useful than having the book. I could easily type in a line to search for to find where they were in the book, and when someone brought up something they saw somewhere else in the text that related but couldn't remember the page, well I could find it in a few seconds. Of course the lack of page numbers can make it difficult if that's all they go by, but if you've read the book or someone quotes a passage from the text then it's easy enough to keep up.

Walking to Class - Unfortunately I only learned the trick to this late in the semester because I did try before but I still found it difficult. At any rate, no matter how windy it is you can have your Kindle out reading stuff for class while trudging across campus. Just don't make the same mistake I did and try it on the smallest font setting. Bump it up a bit even if you have good eyes and it's really easy not to get lost even while walking.

.PDF Files - Again, I wish I had the DX for this because it would be one thousand times better. Some .pdf files work okay on the Kindle2, but a lot of the ones I need are straight scans from books provided by my professors. This means they showed as small pictures which were difficult to read. On the DX I imagine they'd be beautiful and wonderful and well worth my $500 if I wasn't so strapped. So having .pdfs is nice sometimes, but having them on a DX would be nicer.

Citing Books - Okay, here's one of the main problems I ran across with using my Kindle for research. My history professor was also the head of the department and my advisor. She really didn't like me citing Kindle Location numbers and asked me to get physical copies to cite. This is done easily enough through google's book search, or if you're lazy and a bit more daring just do some math. Find out how many pages are in the physical book then take the percentage from your Kindle location and voila, you have a general page number to cite. To be more exact, though, I'd use google books.

Sparksnotes - This saved my butt quite a few times in my British Literature class. I messed up and did the wrong readings only to look in my syllabus and see we had a quiz that day on Mrs. Dalloway. I pulled up sparksnotes and read it on the way to class and actually passed after not even cracking open the book. The internet can be clunky, and it definitely takes some getting use to in order to use a site like sparksnotes, but once you do it's great. I also got to use google during class to help with some of our discussion questions so all in all it's pretty handy. I could always do this on my cellphone, but it's so much faster and easier to read on my Kindle.

I have heard from people that you can go to the publisher's sites for most textbooks and get electronic copies cheaper. I didn't try this at all since I had already paid the hundreds of dollars for mine that semester so I can't say for sure how well this works. All I know is that for my money the Kindle has helped me -a lot- this semester and will continue to. The nice thing is, even after graduating I'll still be using it unlike some of these textbooks <glares at poorly written US History text>. Hope that helps and gives you some ideas. I'll be glad to answer any specific questions you have as well.
 

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I am a college student, however my major is nursing and I minor in history, not English so that may make a difference.  Since I bought my kindle in Feb I have checked for all the books that I need for my Spring 2 semester, my summer courses, and the classes that I plan to take in Fall and never once has any of the texts required for my classes been available on Kindle.  And yes I have pushed the request link for everey one of them.  Maybe that is just my luck though.  I still love my kindle ( I read non-school related books constantly and it has been great for those).  With your books being novels that may make a big difference in the availability on the kindle.  Good luck with school and study, study, study.
 

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All of that being said:  Welcome.
I'm sure you will be very happy.  The DX appears to be very much geared towards college students.  Larger screen; less page turning.  PDF ease; rotatable screen for charts/graphs...etc.  If you are so inclined; you may want to weigh the pros and cons and return the yours for the DX (though more $$).  I don't know enough about K2 or DX to offer assistance; as I am a very happy K1 owner.  In any event: enjoy.
 

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That's an excellent gift, and I can see why you're so happy about it. I've never received anything quite *that* nice as a gift. As for the DX, I think it's going to be perfect for students. Now all they need to do is develop a nice color screen.
 

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Scheherazade:  Such a wonderfully detailed, and I'm sure, helpful, post.  I am so impressed by the good use in which you have put your Kindle to work.  Are your fellow students impressed with your Kindle??  Is yours the only one or are there others?  Anyone jealous...they should be, lol.
 

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I got a kindle in the middle of the fall semester, so I have a k1. I love it. It comes in really handy. I store all my typed notes on it, which saves me a lot on printer ink. this also allows me to study anywhere without having to carry a binder everywhere I go. Drafts of my papers also go on to my kindle. I've also used my kindle for presentations. I email my presentation notes to my kindle and set it on auto turn. kepts me focused on the main point. A couple of my professors email us lecture outlines, articles, and stories for class in .doc format. So I just approved their emails and it goes straight to my kindle.
 

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kendall83 said:
I am a college student, however my major is nursing and I minor in history, not English so that may make a difference. Since I bought my kindle in Feb I have checked for all the books that I need for my Spring 2 semester, my summer courses, and the classes that I plan to take in Fall and never once has any of the texts required for my classes been available on Kindle. And yes I have pushed the request link for everey one of them. Maybe that is just my luck though. I still love my kindle ( I read non-school related books constantly and it has been great for those). With your books being novels that may make a big difference in the availability on the kindle. Good luck with school and study, study, study.
Congratulations to you and good luck with nursing. Where are you going to school?

You might want to listen to this podcast with my son (also a nursing major). http://www.thekindlechronicles.com/2009/02/05/29-delancey-nicoll/

I think he had some interesting info but of course I am a proud mom!

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Scheherazade... this is by far more and more than I could have hoped for in a response!!!!

Searchability - I didn't think of this aspect for finding specific quotes...  my gift is less than a week old so I'm still getting used to it but this reminder lessens my anxiety about it by a ton.  Especially since the class I most likely will enroll in next semester is American Gothic and I hope I can find a lot of the texts (don't know what they are yet) for either free or extremely cheap.

Highlights and Notes - I hightlight and annotate a TON... which I've had to adapt quite a bit for the kindle.  I'm not a big fan of the 5-way controller... but it's the only thing I'm not thrilled about on my device.  And today I learned that I was making two marks for every one that I wanted (I was both underlining it and creating a note).  I love annotating... however, I'm with you on the bleeding through and having the marker handy.  My 2nd year into my BA I switched out all my yellows finding that their markings didn't last for the next time I opened the book.  So ever since then I'm a pink/green/orange girl... and those damn thinner-than-ricepaper Norton anthologies kick my but everytime.

Citing Books - I just thought of this earlier today and was like oh my gosh, how'm I going to do THAT part?  I guess I'll just take it on a prof by prof case and speak to each of them about how they want me to do it.  Some English people are awful sticklers when it comes to MLA, some just want to make sure they know what book you used and that's all they care about. 

Since we fell into a bit of $ and that's how hubby was able to swing the K for this past birthday, I really don't see us getting the DX.  I rarely read the news, preferring to read it online if I do (and for free at that).  I haven't come across many pdfs that profs want me to read or use... but then again next semester will only be my fourth class in the program.  Not to mention, the price is definitely more.

I've been browsing around this forum here and there and will get to the intro place soon, thanks for replying everybody!!!
 

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I've found that it's my History professors who are .pdf crazy.  Between sparksnotes and the Medieval Sourcebook I'm constantly downloading.  I had one professor not even assign us a book and just assign us 2-3 .pdfs a week so it's definitely more of a history than an english thing.  Though my Craft of Fiction professor assigned us .pdfs toward the end of this semester because he didn't end up liking the books he picked.

I agree on the 5-way controller.  It's not the best thing in the world, but it's servicable once you get used to it.
 

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Now if only more textbooks were offered...
I fully agree. I love my kindle but it would be sooooo much better if the books all of my instructors require were on it. I almost want to go yell at them "Pick better books, that are on my kindle!!" I don't think that they'd be very responsive though.
 
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