My Comments On The 2005 PIRG Report On College Textbooks
Another year has gone by and textbook prices just keep going up. The Public Interest Research Group releases it second report on college textbooks with some shocking stats in it.
The group says that textbooks are rising four times the rate of inflation which I think is nuts. With some new versions having very little new stuff in it, the price of the book should not have to go up that much, right????
The report showed massive price differences for some books that are 100% the same in the U.K. If you can get the same textbook in the U.K. for at least 50% less then I think this means that the college textbook does not cost so much to make and the book manufactures only want to get as much money as possible out of the USA students.
Bundled textbooks can get very pricey. It can easily cost like 20 bucks for a study guide that you or the teacher may never even use. The report stated that 65% of the teachers surveyed for the 2004 report never or rarely use the extras. That should be a clear sign to the book publishers to sell the books in pieces, something that they really do not want to do.
Book publishers have been starting to publish low-cost lines which will be vital in the attempt to lower costs of books for students.
The people behind the research want publishers to produce inexpensive as possible books without sacrificing educational value. It is something that I can agree with, but I think that is not going to be an easy thing to accomplish. They want new books only when educationally necessary which is the right way to go. Some majors like Math and English barely change so why should new versions of textbooks come out every few years. Unbundling of textbooks is something we both want. The last thing they want is for the manufactures to provide more information such as price, length of time between a new edition and difference from a previous edition. That is something that has to be done.
After the initial report book some manufactures
have made small strides to lower prices of books they sell,
this new report continues that trend. It will be up to the
students, plus teachers, to continue to fight for lower textbook
prices and for the
book publishers to actually lower the price.
To comment on my commentary: RichardGinn@myeducationalplan.com
Rube, Kate "Rip-off 101: 2nd Edition How
The Current Practices Of The Textbook Industry Drive Up The
Cost Of College Textbooks" PIRG.org (2005) n.
pag. Online. Internet. February 1, 2005