Over the past few years I have become more and more frustrated (angered, enraged) with the price of textbooks. In a discipline like philosophy I can often find public domain copies or anthologies of historical works that are reasonably priced. In the case of other courses, contemporary works are usually far more expensive—even when those works can be photocopied from journals at the university library. Personally, I think one solution can be found with the Kindle, particularly the Kindle DX with its support of native PDF’s. With library services such as JSTOR, an instructor could create an entire ebook by simply giving the student the title/link to the article. They could also easily prepare their own text and simply post it as a downloadable PDF. Unfortunately, the old textbook habit is probably going to die a long, slow, painful death. Until ebook readers (or even reading on a computer screen) become more common, students will have to do a little shopping around to save money on textbooks.
YSU Bookstore vs. Amazon
Recently I did a little cost comparison between the prices found on Amazon.com and those found on the YSU Bookstore’s website. As it turns out, Amazon is significantly cheaper when it comes to the purchase of NEW books. Here are a few examples:
Ethical Issue in Professional Life (New/Used)—YSU-$64.95/$48.75; Amazon $52.60/NA + free shipping.
Society, Ethics and Technology —YSU-$83.45/$62.50; Amazon $65.05/NA + free shipping
Critical Thinking (Waller)— YSU $81.65/$61.40; Amazon $68.04/NA + free shipping
YSU Bookstore Textbook Link:
Amazon.com Textbook LInk:
If I were student, I think I would definitely make the extra effort to order my textbooks early—and perhaps from a source other than the one I had been using for my previous purchases.