Sinking Down Textbook Prices

Now that you’ve read The Evil Twin, the Seed of Satan-Digital Textbooks  and It’s just not right… you’re probably wondering, well how do we lower the cost in textbooks? Well one possible solution to lowering the cost of textbooks is by renting them. According to Tywan Miller author of College Textbook-Rental Easy Affordable Alternative for Budget Conscious College Students! “On average, a student can save upwards of 50% of the cost of purchasing their books through college textbook rental.”

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If students move towards renting textbooks instead of buying them they will spend less money. Trust me as a college student I know the feeling when you’re running low on cash and can’t afford your books.  Last fall I was running tight on money for college books and decided to rent my textbooks and saved my self-hundreds of dollars. Also, according to Tamar Lewin, “rentals give both publishers and textbook authors a way to continue earning money from their books after the first sale, something they do not get from the sale of used textbooks.”  There are other methods that students can use to waste less money on textbooks.

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Another possible way to stop spending a lot of money on books is CUTTING OUT THE MIDDLE MAN! We live in the 21st century where technology and social media are our friends. Bernard is his article in the NY Times pushes college students to go on social media and search around campus for people willing to exchange books with you. This is cutting out the middle man, “the publishing companies” and preventing them from getting a hand on our savings. This means use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to your advantage. Search on Facebook for book groups that show available books and save money!

If you want to save money, avoid campus bookstores! They should be your last resource if you can’t find the book online. For better deals I personally use Amazon.com or Half.com where I can compare prices with other vendors to get the best deal for me. This may require that you register for classes at least three weeks in advance, in order to give your book time to come in the mail. Online book shopping does help lower cost. During my sophomore year at the University of Maryland I decided to buy all my textbooks, I know super dumb idea! Anyway, it helped me realize that books are overly expensive. So I looked on Amazon and saved a lot; that sophomore year I spent roughly around $700 in books. Shopping on Amazon I wasted $439 on books and after a certain amount you qualify for free shipping!! Even better!

There are other options out there for buying textbooks and maybe some of you were aware and maybe others weren’t. I hope you have benefited from this week’s post on how to save money on college textbooks using other methods; renting, online buying, or cutting out the middle man by searching on social media for possible book exchange!

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Professors!!! Guilty or Not??

“Thanks Einstein!!”


Thanks EinsteinNow I know that at least one of us has had a professor like Einstein here! I know I have; just this semester a professor stated a “required textbook” on the syllabus that I haven’t opened! Mind you the semester is almost over. Like this comic, there are many professors that say they will lecture on the material in the books but instead us other methods such as uploading articles.

So, why require us to buy textbooks that professors don’t use? Why not make life more simply and provide the students with the readings online? Everyone owns a computer and those who don’t have easy access to one.

This week we want to provide sources that really point out the roles of the professors with college textbooks and show that although some do us the college system to introduce their own material, a few are faithful and know the struggle that college students go through to buy a simple book.


Should Professors Have to Think About Textbook Prices?

By: Courtney Buell

Summary: This blogger knows her stuff! Courtney Buell goes to talk about professors role in the textbook market. She argues that professors are really the ones “calling the shots” when it comes to selecting the course textbook. This blog goes into explaining legislation changes that now require professors to look at prices and ways that can help their students buy cheaper books.

Why this source is important: The writer of this blog is a college student like the rest of us. This source is able to provide rules and legislations that are pushing for a stop in the increasing prices of textbooks. It also points us to a possible solution that we can encourage our college professors to do.

What to do with this source: This blog written by a Maryland college advisor and copywriter gives us a hope for a solution to the problem. We just need to keep pushing that this is an issue that needs a real solution!!


 

Are College Textbooks Priced Fairly?

By: Robert Carbaugh and Koushik Ghosh

Summary: This article was written to discuss the economics of textbooks. It talks about the strategies used to market textbooks to particular audience, such as college professors. The authors touch on how some legislation is now being enforced to stop the increase in prices and even professors who are offering their help by communicating with publishers to lower their costs.

Why this source is important: This source focuses on the problems surrounding increase prices in textbooks. Whether its professors or simply the publishers it is important for us to learn about those we are up against. This source unravels the tactics that publishers use to advertise their material and how we can save ourselves from being their victims. Also, it provides a solution not only to the increase of textbooks in the United States but in other countries as well.

What to do with this source: Honestly, this source gives us the tools to destroy the textbook market! Well not to the max! Seriously, this source can be used to inform others about the way that the textbook market is created and how they come up with these absurd prices.


Don’t blame professors for high cost of textbooks

By: Marie Ann Donovan

Summary: This source talks to students through the lens of a professor. They address the problem of professors being blamed for the high prices of college textbooks, when in reality professors are a victim themselves. Because these publishers are raising the prices, they have to design the learning curriculum around the financial difficulties of their students.

Why this source is important: This article is important because it gives the view of the ones being accused. People are here pointing the finger at professor for choosing these expensive books. It’s good that this source shows the other side of the argument, making it balance.

What to do with this source:  This source can be used to prove that we are all being victims of the publisher mafia! With this source we can also lift a finger at accusing professors that have good hearts and want to teach their students the best. Although, I think they can do so, in a cheaper matter.


OVERALL…These sources are all important to our understanding of the rise in textbook prices. They help provide the background information that we need, but also help clear that it is not entirely all professors out to get us! These sources are important in showing that this movement against college textbook is working…lets keep going!!!

Are you serious!!! That’s soo unfair and not true!!

Image    Why do college textbooks cost so much? According to Ethan Trex author of “Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?,” textbooks are expensive because publishing a college textbook full of graphs, charts, illustrations, cost more than just a simple $10 Nicholas Sparks novel. That’s outrageous!! Publishers are you really going to charge college students for every single “.”?  That’s unfair; a majority of us college students are not dependent of our parents for money and can’t afford to pay $100- $200 for books.

They are simple out to get our money! Ethan Trex mentions that since professors choose the textbook, students don’t really have a say in what texts to pick. Although that is correct, professors need to be a bit more lenient with their students. I meant if you know you’re not going to use the textbook and only some articles, why not just scan and upload them as PDFs?  I believe publishers purposely target and market to professors. In “Why Do College Books Cost So Much?” Allen Grove mentions that, publishers make no money when used books are sold instead of new ones. That must be the reason why when we try selling our books to BookHolders they offer us less than what we bought them for! Publishers are smart, and make new editions every year, making the professor change the textbook. Meaning we’re busted and have to buy a new book. We can no longer use our friend’s book from last semester because it’s no longer “good.” That’s crazy, publishers change like one sentence in the old edition and add a couple of sentences here and we college students have to pay! Publishers are the ones adding the extra stuff to the pages, why not have them pay it!

It’s absurd!! Ethan Trex mentions in his article that “…many students aren’t all that price sensitive…” that’s false! Not all college students depend on mommy and daddy for money. As a working college student, it hurts my pocket every time I see those three-digit book prices. Not only that, but to know that you’re giving up your break to work just to pay off a simple “.”or new edition makes college textbook prices unfair. Publishers should be the ones paying a majority of these book cost and not the students. We didn’t tell you to publish the book with so many colors and pretty pictures!

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Typical parent-college student conversation about money for textbooks!

 

 

 

 

Sesia Cruz

Hi my name is Sesia Cruz. I’m a junior at the University of Maryland, majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. My hobbies include reading books and spending time with my family. I plan of going to law school after undergrad and practice Business and Immigration Law.

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Why did I join this blog??

As a first generation college student, money is pretty tight. I know that everyone can agree with that and college textbooks being so expensive is no help! There has to be stronger regulations imposed on colleges selling textbooks at prices that are absurd. During my three years at UMD, I’ve seen most college professors have textbooks listed as required and never use them. Why have students waste money on unused textbooks? Also, most professors now post readings and class materials online, therefore there should be a decrease on textbook prices. Hopefully this blog can help open up your mind to the truth behind expensive textbooks!