Kids, power up your e-books.
Amazon could be coming to the New York City school district next year, shelling out everything from textbooks to story time tales on all kinds of devices for students.
On Wednesday, the New York City Department of Education will vote on the proposed $30 million, three-year contract with Amazon, with an option to extend the virtual book-buying deal into a five-year program worth $64.5 million in sales for the company, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Under the contract, schools would purchase e-books from Amazon (sans devices) and then shuttle them around from school to school as needed, the Journal adds. In other words, the e-books will be fully owned by the schools, just like the district’s regular textbooks, minus all the potentially musty smells as well as wear and tear on physical books.
The city originally put its e-book deal with Amazon on hold last summer, postponing a vote over concerns the e-books would leave the city’s blind readers out of the equation. Now the National Federation of the Blind is working with Amazon on the project to ensure blind students will have access to the e-books.
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Amazon controls the bulk of the global e-book market and is well known for competitive price-slashing on books. Still, physical book sales had a relatively positive year in 2015, while sales of e-books stagnated. But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remains bullish on e-reading. Earlier this month, he debuted a brand new Kindle, promising this newest reader will “get out of the way” of the electronic reading experience.
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If Amazon can start nabbing 1.1 million little New York readers while they’re still young, the students can’t really miss all those hardcovers and dog-eared, yellowing pages that they never had.