Editor in chief
Welcome to your greatest school year thus far. It would not be untrue to say many of us Linfield students anticipate the return to campus, like a kid on (insert your preferred holiday here).
You may need one book or five or 10, and each comes with its own substantial price tag. So why are textbooks so expensive? Over at Barnes and Noble, I can get the latest 900-page New York Times bestseller for $19.99. What makes textbooks so different? The answer is everything.
According to Maketextbooksaffordable.com, a campaign to reduce textbook costs, the textbook market is a broken one. There is a lack of competition with the textbook industry, as opposed to the mainstream book market.
Students also have little market power because professors decide which books pupils will purchase,
maketextbooksaffordable.com writes. It is highly unusual that professors think about the cost of a textbook before they assign it in their course.
These essential books are printed on glossy paper, with many graphs and images in color ink, none of which are cheaply produced.
It is a co-ed custom to sell used textbook to peers; however, with a new edition of each book coming out annually, old editions are quickly devalued and no longer recommend by professors.
A Congress-mandated study by the U.S. Department of Education on the affordability of college textbooks came out last year. It suggested ways to improve the situation, including increasing library resources, implementing textbook rental programs, improving financial aid policies and utilizing technologies such as electronic textbooks.
Textbook rental is definitely the secret of
the year. Chegg.com and
bookrenter.com are just a few of the sites where students can rent their textbook for a term at a fraction of the price it costs to
Predictably, the next wave to save money and resources on textbooks will be with sites like etext.com, which publishes electronic textbooks and course material on its private site.
Until textbooks start coming cheaply, we recommend saving the old-fashioned way: share with a friend, borrow from the library or take out a loan and pay for your text in 10 years. Study hard Linfield.
Being away from the friends you are with constantly during the school year is hard and it always feels great to be back among them. However, when classes start back up the reality of the situation sets in: You are back to learn and with that comes certain responsibilities. One of the least favorites of these is buying books.