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No books? Kindle they handle that?

Today's students like it simple. Their phones, Facebook apps and cameras all fit in their pockets, so it was just a matter of time before their study habits entered the digital age as well.

Starting this fall, approximately 150 University of Washington students will be given's latest electronic reading device, the Kindle DX, as part of the Kindle pilot program. Sporting a 9.7-inch screen and weighing just 18.9 ounces, the Kindle DX can hold up to 3,500 books and is capable of storing entire textbooks as a digital file. The UW is one of seven institutions nationwide participating in the program.

"There are huge advantages to not carrying around 30 pounds of textbooks everywhere you go," says Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering, which has 60 graduate students in the pilot program. Master's candidates in the Technology Management MBA program will participate, beginning in January.

If the Kindle DX—a personal reader by definition—can help students manage their schoolwork, the days of carrying heavy textbooks to and from class could soon be over.