Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Renting College Texts

At Sac State, students can rent some of their textbooks for less money than they'd pay if they bought them and then sold them back at the end of the semester. I especially liked this comment, appended to the linked article:

Amazing. One of the first books made available is the Marx-Engles (sic) Reader. Today it is a required text in our tax subsidized University and it is taught as an alternative to our capitalistic society. Any wonder why we are following the path we are on in this country.

Truth to power, brother.


cage said...

It may be so, but merely requiring the Marx-Engels reader does not mean it's being taught (favorably) "as an alternative to our capitalistic society." I'd like to think I'm as capitalist as anyone, and I have a copy of the Communist Manifesto- its on the shelf between the Gulag Archipelago and A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch.

That said, I find the idea of renting textbooks abhorrent. I cannot imagine not having my books- and the ones in fields I didn't study actively are the only references I have in those fields.

Ellen K said...

College textbooks are a scam. I know of a English lit prof who had her unknowing freshmen students tear out the title page, which meant the book could NEVER be sold back. I know of professors who issue new editions of books they have written with minor changes that are required. I know of places where the book stores underorder, forcing students to order new books or chance Amazon for a book that may come weeks into the class. And, I know a man whose father owned the books store across from SMU, and they retired millionaires. I am a book junkie-I have six different versions of Gardners History of Art, but honestly, saddling families who are already reeling from rising tuition and board with higher book costs is cruel and could end up diminishing the student population. I mean, even with all those endowments, colleges need some kids that pay the full freight.