Reduce the Cost of College Textbooks

One of the biggest burdens every college students has is paying for what appears to be their overpriced textbooks. Every year its the same debate were its students vs. book stores vs. publishers vs. teachers vs. the common sense of offering the material online. Yet its because of pity excuses that there has been little change.

It has become too common for student to blame the bookstores for the rising cost. Why? Its because the bookstores will charge a student around $70 – $120 for a book but will buy it back for $15 – $40 and resell it for $50 – $80.

Of course the bookstores have tossed excuses around to appease concerns and hopefully discredit critics; this includes partially blaming the publishers while sharing some of it with shipping costs and student returns. Both have failed miserably. It also hasn’t help when the bookstore has tried to use the Administration to close off campus bookstores.

Next there is the Publishers who have their own scam and excuse. Its too common for a publisher to issue a new edition that only has either a new chapter or a few new paragraphs. But they have always cried about how hard it was and all the “research” (research is defined in this scenario as copy and pasting from a newspaper).

But the only reason students buy the books is because its what their professor requires. Its too common for a professor to force students to by a lot of books for the class, but rarely are most of them used. Other times, the reading could have been offered online had the professor been competent to do so.

This could have all been avoided had the professor found alternatives to the book store. These include actually posting the material online for download or offering links on their website to the required reading. This would have saved an average student $200 – $400 a quarter / semester on textbooks.

No surprise, the professors blame the book store rather their own incompetence while expecting their students to go into debt for a text book their only going to open once.

Finally their are the students, who too have also made excuse that have halted the advancement of online resources in a class room. In theory, online textbooks are a good idea. However its too common to hear student complain about how they need a book to focus or they will get distracted by Facebook.

Hence the only real solution to reducing the cost of texts books is for students to stop making pity excuses for not wanting online sources. If students actually take action then their professors would have to put the material online while the bookstore needs to actually compete with the online source and rival stores.