Thursday, January 15, 2009

College Textbooks: Are they overpriced?

My daughter is taking a class at a local university, and I almost fell over when she told me that the book for the class costs about $150, and it's only a paperback book. My question is whether schools and publishers charge too much money for books, particularly when they cost almost as much as the class itself. What do you think? And in such cases, is there anything a student can do to find cheaper books? Share your ideas.

Randall

20 comments:

Bruno/Ingrid said...

Here in Brazil most college textbooks are overpriced - especially books whose publishers are from outside the country. Undoubtedly, schools and publishers have been charging too much money for them. Thus, my wife and I usually buy books online. They're cheaper and it doesn't take long to have them delivered. Some books are delivered right on the following day.

LU said...

In China, I also think college textbooks are overpriced. We can bought used one from Seniors, it is much cheaper than buy a new one. But the college or teachers will not inform if they would change the textbooks or not in advance. As a result of this, I spend more money! Buy a used one, but out of date, and buy a new one.
Eventually, I found they're similar. The differences are different typeset, better paper quality, higher price. If you stick to use the used one, you'll encounter some problems, you cannot quickly and correctly find the contents which the teacher said.
Nowadays, I give up to buy books. I read mostly online, or borrow from library. Buying book online is more an more popular in China, but not me.

stephania said...

In Dominican Republic people who doesnt have mney for buy a new textbooks usualy buy a used textbooks already because they think is the same thing then the new ones...

Anonymous said...

it is same as indonesia

Anonymous said...

In El Salvador books are expensive too! and a lot of it are from abroad. Its depend of how much you need the book: Do you need it to make your homeworks? Better to buy it; Do you need it just for study not too often...go to the library.

Anonymous said...

In Viet Nam, most students don't have enough money to buy college textbooks, they are really overpriced. We often buy the copies of textbooks, or buy used books from seniors. We also borrow books from library of the university, however there are some libraries where we only can read, not borrow. I think there are many various useful materials in libraries for students to explore so we should take advantage of reading as many books as possible in libraries.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a web for buying textbooks.
The textbooks for the scholar year are expensive for the students.

Anonymous said...

I think textbooks are really overpriced in Hong Kong. The companies keep making amendment on those textbooks and students here are not able to buy a cheaper used book from the shops or online.
Textbooks are great burdens for my family.

Junaid said...

Hi My name is Junaid Saeed and I live in Pakistan . College Text are very over-priced, mostly the books which are published outside the country. But we can find some used one or photocopy print here.

Carol (LU) said...

It's getting more expensive to buy textbooks for studying in secondary school in Hong Kong. I have a sister studying in F.3 and she has to pay nearly$3000 for the new books used for the whole year.

I really doubt if students need the books which worths such high prices and the "value" of the books.Sometimes there is no need to add so many colourful pictures in some textbooks like English books,Maths. books etc. What make it worse is that it is the pictures,besides the increasing price of paper,raise the prices!

Some subjects simply need no books like liberal studies. Publishers sell this kind of books only in order to earn higher profits but not for students' goods.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm from Russia. In my country every university has a library. Students can use books during their tuition. It's free. But if you want to buy a new books, you'll pay much money. We also photocopy a necessary book, because sometimes you can't find that one and it's a lot cheaper than to buy.

Jaume said...

Hi Randall and everyone.

In Barcelona, the regional government has promoted the optional sharing of the textbooks across different courses and years in primary school, on condition that the owner will deliver the used textbook in good conditions at the end of course, so another student can reuse the textbook on the next year.

This has caused some protests of the publishing companies, but I think that's a good idea, because the child learn to use the textbook correctly and the families can reduce scholar costs.

And what is more, it helps some families that are in trouble or they can't afford the textbook expenses.

Nguyễn said...

I think buying a new book or a used one depends on how much money you have. Personally, I often buy second hand books or an old ones in order to save money. It is more effective to have the cheaper ones with the same knowledge as the expensive ones.

In VietNam, there are a lot of shops that sell old books. People can buy an used book with a 30 to 50% discount. It is really significant for poor students.

On the other hand, students can also purchase cheap books from graduated students. By doing this, they have chances to make friends and gain experiences from old generation.

College Research Paper said...

I appreciate the work of all people who share information with others.

Anonymous said...

Im my opinion buy used textbooks can be a good ideia because we can save money to buy another important things to use in school

siavash said...

Hi Randal , you are a realy teacher,I love you and i wana to say just thank you very much for your creating this site,

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Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm Sergii, Ukraine. I finished English specialize school and we had a lot of special books for learning English. I remember that I also had to buy the new one in the begining of the year and the only mismatchce between those was the placement of exercises. And if you didn't buy the new book it was very difficult to find the correct exercise becouse the teacher also have the last one. You couldn't find it becouse it was in a different pages. I think it's commercial stuff and the only purpose of printing them is to make money.

Maria M said...

Hi everybody,

Well I think that college textbooks are expensive and teachers should recommend additional material such as websites, online tutorials that will help the students to improve their learning. In the past, the books were the only resource the students could have but now we have more resources to work at classes.

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