The iPad exists for textbooks. Really, let’s not beat around the bush here; it’s practically designed for college students to just load up their texts and bring to class so they have everything at their fingertips. And yet, nobody was really pursuing that angle, despite all the chatter about “digital publishing” and how it was going to save the industry of applying carbon suspended in fluid to dead tree pulp.

That’s where Inkling comes in.

Inkling creates and sells interactive textbooks; not just text, but video, animation, sound, the usual with these kinds of things. And it just got a major boost, as two huge textbook publishers, Pearson and MacGraw Hill, have invested in the company and are putting a bunch of its books up over its service.

Not just the minor stuff either: major undergraduate standard texts are hitting the service, along with medical and other reference books from the two publishers. MacGraw Hill is actually putting its top 100 college textbooks onto the service.

You can see the appeal; it’s a guaranteed sale and they’ll never have to worry about the textbook being sold used or rented out to somebody not willing to pay thousands for a book they’ll use for six months.

Of course, they could lower the price, but that’s crazy talk.