MANHATTAN - Apple has announced today a new platform to create e-book software intended to replace traditional school textbooks. The iBooks software will be available for elementary and high school students on the iPad. It remains unclear how fast the electronic books will go into circulation since textbooks are subject to long approval processes. Also, few kids currently own iPads which start at $500. However, the iBooks will be about 40 pounds lighter on the children's backs since most printed textbooks are heavy and bulky. Apple says it already has iBooks 2 in the making, which will be able to display books with videos and other interactive features.