Digital Copies of Textbooks

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frijoles99
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Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby frijoles99 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:29 pm

I prefer digital copies of textbooks for a plethora of reasons. Weight, ease of use, searchability, notations are easier to find and search. Copy and past features. I know currently the publishers don't sell digital versions of the textbooks, but if you own the textbook you can create a scanned image of the book. If 5 students own their own versions of the textbook and they decide to go in together and pay for a company to scan one of their textbooks into pdf format is it ok? You still own the book and nothing is stopping you from manually entering it all into a word document for your own convenience?

Baylan
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Baylan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:41 pm

frijoles99 wrote:I prefer digital copies of textbooks for a plethora of reasons. Weight, ease of use, searchability, notations are easier to find and search. Copy and past features. I know currently the publishers don't sell digital versions of the textbooks, but if you own the textbook you can create a scanned image of the book. If 5 students own their own versions of the textbook and they decide to go in together and pay for a company to scan one of their textbooks into pdf format is it ok? You still own the book and nothing is stopping you from manually entering it all into a word document for your own convenience?


I really think digital copies of law books is a massively poor decision. While searchability and ease of use may make sense while dealing with your own reading, your ability to change and turn pages in class, i.e. when you're called on, or trying to follow a professor's lecture, when he skips back and forth between pages (like two of my profs did this semester) is dramatically diminished.

frijoles99
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby frijoles99 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:59 pm

Depending on the software your using it can be easier to find the exact case or page your are supposed to be looking for just by inputing the number. Isn't it possible to have both pages open at the same time on the page? I would just have them next to eachother on my screen? I also realized another added benefit. When reselling your textbook it won't be highlighted.

Baylan
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Baylan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:04 pm

frijoles99 wrote:Depending on the software your using it can be easier to find the exact case or page your are supposed to be looking for just by inputing the number. Isn't it possible to have both pages open at the same time on the page? I would just have them next to eachother on my screen? I also realized another added benefit. When reselling your textbook it won't be highlighted.


It might be possible, but I would say that if you don't have a tried and tested system in place for the fall that its not worth trying to reinvent the wheel. Not to mention the added strain of reading most of your books in digital format instead of print format - my eyes have already gotten significantly worse in the past year...

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starchinkilt
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby starchinkilt » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:06 pm

frijoles99 wrote:Depending on the software your using it can be easier to find the exact case or page your are supposed to be looking for just by inputing the number. Isn't it possible to have both pages open at the same time on the page? I would just have them next to eachother on my screen? I also realized another added benefit. When reselling your textbook it won't be highlighted.


+1 I used a digital book for Property this semester and loved it. As far as page turning, it was easier for me to type in the page number in the little page number box and hit enter than it was to flip actual pages. The only downside is that you can't book brief or highlight, but I never do those things anyway.

frijoles99
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby frijoles99 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:09 pm

I found some great readers like kindle/google reader will highlight.

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starchinkilt
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby starchinkilt » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:12 pm

frijoles99 wrote:I found some great readers like kindle/google reader will highlight.


Ah, my book is officially downloaded through an Adobe Reader program in partnership with the book. They have this crap on lockdown, can't hightlight, right click, or anything of the sort.

Baylan
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Baylan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:16 pm

frijoles99 wrote:I found some great readers like kindle/google reader will highlight.


Owning a Kindle, I'd say it would be a terrible reader for law books. Others might be better.

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bk1
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:20 pm

Baylan wrote:
frijoles99 wrote:I found some great readers like kindle/google reader will highlight.


Owning a Kindle, I'd say it would be a terrible reader for law books. Others might be better.


Considering he paired it next to Google Reader, I'd bet he means the software not the hardware.

Baylan
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Baylan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:27 pm

bk1 wrote:
Baylan wrote:
frijoles99 wrote:I found some great readers like kindle/google reader will highlight.


Owning a Kindle, I'd say it would be a terrible reader for law books. Others might be better.


Considering he paired it next to Google Reader, I'd bet he means the software not the hardware.


Serious brainfry in effect. Still not a huge fan of the software in that context - there are some drawbacks, particularly if we're talking .pdf format versus the standard kindle format (.amz? Not sure what it is). At least, last I played with it. I haven't touched my kindle since school started this semester. A function of not wanting to read when I'm done with classwork.

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AJaKe
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby AJaKe » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:31 pm

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Last edited by AJaKe on Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:31 pm

frijoles99 wrote:I prefer digital copies of textbooks for a plethora of reasons.


An overabundance of reasons? Tell us more.

frijoles99
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby frijoles99 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:24 pm

I was thinking a pdf reader might be better than an ebook reader or reader software one that highlights
1. Weight
2. portability between devices tablet/cellphones/laptops
3. backup for example keeping a copy in drop box means you have your textbook anywhere you have internet
4. Resale value. Your textbook will remain unhighlighted in nearly pristine condition as long as you scan it without removing the binding.
5. Copying and pasting directly from text into programs like one note
6. Having multiple pages open at the same time in different windows side by side for quick and easy referencing.
7. I would think the search function would be useful for quickly finding the case being discussed, or looking for up references.
Those are some of the benefits I can figure out off the top of my head, but I think a couple of them pretty large like resale value, search and weight

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:31 pm

Anyone read the write up on using OneNote here on TLS (the really in depth one)? Dude who put that together talks about scanning all of his casebooks into OneNote. Anyone thinking of doing that? Seems a little extreme, but . . .

gunners gotta gun :twisted:

edit: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=127496

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Helmholtz
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:33 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote: Seems a little extreme, but . . .

gunners gotta gun :twisted:


Seems like an extreme waste of time more like it.

frijoles99
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby frijoles99 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:39 pm

If you don't want it you don't have to get it, but for myself I'd like to have both of these for the obvious reasons put forth, even if it's a couple hours of work or sending it to a scanning company to do it and split the costs with some people.

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kalvano
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:43 pm

Over-reliance on electronic stuff will not serve you well.

If all you do is copy and paste stuff, you aren't actually reading and processing it.

Geist13
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Geist13 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:36 pm

frijoles99 wrote:Depending on the software your using it can be easier to find the exact case or page your are supposed to be looking for just by inputing the number.


starchinkilt wrote:As far as page turning, it was easier for me to type in the page number in the little page number box and hit enter than it was to flip actual pages.


TLS just had multiple posters state that locating the proper page number in a book is a issue.

Baylan
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Baylan » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:22 am

Geist13 wrote:
frijoles99 wrote:Depending on the software your using it can be easier to find the exact case or page your are supposed to be looking for just by inputing the number.


starchinkilt wrote:As far as page turning, it was easier for me to type in the page number in the little page number box and hit enter than it was to flip actual pages.


TLS just had multiple posters state that locating the proper page number in a book is a issue.


There aren't a ton of profs that will refer to exactly what they're talking about by page number. Its more like "in the next case" and searching for information can be difficult when you can't rapidly flip and scan for familiar looking passages.

random5483
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby random5483 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:26 am

Digital casebooks are a bad idea.


First, you will no re-read your cases or look for a rule in a casebook. You read the cases once (or maybe a few times) before class. After class you rarely if ever use your casebook. You study off your notes/outline. Thus, the search feature of a digital casebook is useless.

Second, you want to take notes on your casebook (writing on margins/highlights) so you can quickly answer your professor if cold called. A digital casebook will hurt you because it is harder to take digital notes that are clearly visible and on the textbook near the relevant facts/rule/procedure/etc.

Third, I love digital textbooks and novels. However, law school books are casebooks. You read them once, and will not be referring to them for new information after class (maybe once when updating notes). You are not going to be searching for some obscure answer that is missing from your outline or notes. In fact, if you look at your casebook to study, you are most likely going to fail or do very badly.


Conclusion: Do not get a digital casebook for search features. If you don't mind being a little slow during cold calls (very slow if you are not tech savvy....slightly slower if you are tech savvy) then by all means get a digital book. However, you will not gain much from it since many of the features of a digital textbook are not useful in law school. If you want a lighter casebook, consider getting your book's bindings removed/divided (some of my classmates did that).

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evilxs
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby evilxs » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:05 am

Property text came with access to a digital copy and I hated it; lugged old faithful everywhere instead.

I logged into the online one the 3 times I didn't have time to grab my book before class this semester.

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Redamon1
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Redamon1 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:39 pm

Bump. After trying out the digital way for one of my classes this fall, I want to go all digital in the spring.

I'd like to avoid scanning my textbooks if I can. Anyone know where to buy digital copies? Westlaw seems to have begun doing this, but their version of the book can only be edited using their online platform. :shock: :shock: REALLY?! What's the point if you can't use your tablet, huh? :roll:

http://store.westlaw.com/products/law-s ... fault.aspx

So, any leads to purchase PDFs or other notable formats on tablets would be greatly appreciated!

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bk1
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby bk1 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:22 pm

Redamon1 wrote:Bump. After trying out the digital way for one of my classes this fall, I want to go all digital in the spring.

I'd like to avoid scanning my textbooks if I can. Anyone know where to buy digital copies? Westlaw seems to have begun doing this, but their version of the book can only be edited using their online platform. :shock: :shock: REALLY?! What's the point if you can't use your tablet, huh? :roll:

http://store.westlaw.com/products/law-s ... fault.aspx

So, any leads to purchase PDFs or other notable formats on tablets would be greatly appreciated!


Aspen books are available in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... 0casebooks

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Redamon1
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby Redamon1 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:53 pm

bk1 wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:Bump. After trying out the digital way for one of my classes this fall, I want to go all digital in the spring.

I'd like to avoid scanning my textbooks if I can. Anyone know where to buy digital copies? Westlaw seems to have begun doing this, but their version of the book can only be edited using their online platform. :shock: :shock: REALLY?! What's the point if you can't use your tablet, huh? :roll:

http://store.westlaw.com/products/law-s ... fault.aspx

So, any leads to purchase PDFs or other notable formats on tablets would be greatly appreciated!


Aspen books are available in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... 0casebooks


Thanks! Unfortunately I use an iPad so that format won't work...

krepitch
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Re: Digital Copies of Textbooks

Postby krepitch » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:48 pm

I just bought my Constitutional Law casebook last night from Aspen (http://www.aspenlaw.com/product.asp?cat ... onal%20Law).

I've purchased a few of their books directly from them before and they seem to be developing a pretty good model.

You can buy the hardbound book for $161.
You can buy the digital version for $107.
You can buy the digital version with a looseleaf printed version for $135.

I think the best option is the looseleaf version. That way, you have paper you can highlight or write on if that is what you like to do. Plus, it is easier to write on looseleaf paper than a thick, bound book. Of course, you can also carry only that day's worth of material to class instead of 1900 pages.

As for tablets, the Adobe Digital Editions is decent, but not very flexible. I know you can download the book to at least one machine (not sure if you can download to your computer and your tablet or only one). I've downloaded it to my computer so I can search during class if I need to (searching the online version is riskier because it is dependent on internet speeds and not very user-friendly). If you really want to read your book on your tablet, you can always create your own pdf file from the casebook. You'd have to print ten-page blocks to pdf, then combine them with Acrobat, but it's not that complicated. Once you have those files, you can use Dropbox and iAnnotate (or some other combination of apps) to read and take notes on the tablet.

HTH




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