/  By  / 

One limitation of e-books

favicon In just the past two weeks, generous people from across the country have donated $1,130 to the Kindle Classroom Project, which is wonderful timing, because students in the San Francisco Bay Area are requesting books left and right, and they’re absolutely giddy that I’m able to honor their requests nearly immediately.

But for the first time, I’ve encountered a problem: Not every title comes in e-book format.

Hip Hop HIgh SchoolFirst came Hip Hop High School, by Alan Sitomer. This has been a favorite among ninth graders for a long time, so I’ve known that it’s available only in paper. Nonetheless, it’s a sad moment when a student wants to read it on his or her Kindle and can’t. How is that possible? they ask.

Turns out that some authors (or publishers), for various reasons, do not allow their books to be converted to e-book format. Perhaps this is to protect profits, or maybe it’s just to retain the romantic notion of reading. (I’m pretty sure it’s the former — and authors, in many instances, probably have a good argument.) For young people, however, who have grown up in a hybrid world of physical books and e-books, all of this makes no sense.

True BelieverAnd then it happened again this morning, when a ninth grader requested True Believer, by Virginia Euwer Wolff. Again, no e-book format. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose the KCP has met a challenge!

As a result, I started thinking of if there is a solution. First I’ll check in with the teacher to see if there is a physical copy available. If not, then maybe the Iserotope / Kindle Classroom Project community can come to the rescue!

That’s why I’ve added both physical books to the Amazon Wishlist in case you’d like to help out!

Update 9/21: Good news! These two books have been donated, thanks to Brian (Leesburg, VA). Thank you!

Why not just buy the student the physical book using donated funds? you may ask. The main reason is that I want to make sure that donors know where their money is going. Right now, all monetary gifts go directly to purchase e-books to honor student requests and to build the KCP Library.

Another reason is that although I love physical books — and have a dream that every single e-book in the KCP Library has a physical counterpart — the primary purpose of the Kindle Classroom Project is to aggressively increase access to books using Kindles and e-books for urban students of color in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please let me know what you think in the comments! favicon


  1. Marni

    Thank you so much to the donors!!! Seeing these physical books when they couldn’t get them on their kindles made my students believe in KCP Magic!!! Thank you so much!

Leave a Reply to micheleg Cancel reply