Across the country, school districts are wising up and realizing it's not necessary for students to lug home heavy books just to do homework. Thanks to the mighty internet, homework is moving into the digital age—and all over the world, textbook printers are terrified. While we love the idea of lighter backpacks, our hearts also go out to the lowly printers. In a move that may come back to bite us in the a**, we offer these suggestions to breathe new life into textbooks.
1. Decrease weight
Though we're not scientists (yet), it seems obvious that if a small amount of helium were injected into the textbook ink and binding, the weight of the book would decrease greatly. Add enough helium, and you may even be able to use the book to hover to class.
2. Make better covers
The current covers of textbooks are less than appealing. Liven them up, and the readers will return.
3. Leave entire chapters blank, for doodling
The biggest drawback of computer monitors and Kindles is that you can only draw on them once. And we don't recommend it. Textbooks should embrace their doodle-friendly natures by offering up a few hundred pages of blank canvases.
4. Use state-of-the-art greeting card technology
Birthday cards that play 20-second clips of annoying, tinny sound are all the rage. Harness this power, and students will look forward to opening their books. Use celebrity voices for added fun and education. Possible phrases:
- "This is going to be Math-mazing!
- "Happy Birthday!"
- The first few lines of Sting's "Roxanne"
- "Blap. Blap. What are you gonna do now, huh? Huh? I said, what are you gonna do now? Yeah. Thought so."
- "If loving the Reconstruction is wrong, I don't want to be right!"
- "Hugs, not drugs."
5. Hire better writers
Perhaps textbooks are becoming obsolete because they're filled with stale writing. Spice things up by hiring Stephen King or Dan Brown to unleash their powers of prose on Chemistry II.
6. Everyone loves soft pretzels
Thanks to advances in cushioning technology and odor synthesis, it shouldn't be too difficult to make a textbook that feels and smells like a soft pretzel. Who wouldn't want that?
No one enjoys turning pages. Make textbooks easier to read with a simple, motorized page-turning mechanism. Modify this function so the pages can be flipped rapidly, and you have yourself a handy fanning device and tickler.
8. Print limited editions
An ordinary piece of crap will become highly prized if it's rare. Keep the number of textbooks low enough, and collectors and kids will be begging for them faster than you can say "Beanie Baby."
9. Print the information on a scroll
It's difficult to be taken seriously while holding a textbook. Hold a scroll, and people will think you're important and interesting.
10. Give up the answers
If you really want students to continue using physical textbooks, simply list all the answers to the questions. It might not seem like the right thing to do now, but you'll thank us later, when your textbook printing company is so popular it gets invited to all the cool pool parties.