Textbook Prices

Winter Quarter 2005 at The Ohio State University, once every textbook had been bought and paid, I spent some twenty minutes collecting my receipts and determining how much money I had spent. To my utmost horror, nearly five hundred dollars had been ripped from my hands, buying only three textbooks. FIVE HUNDRED dollars, on three books! Absurdity of the situation cannot be lost on anyone. No where in life is one expected to drop five hundred dollars on three books; books that will not even be needed at the end of the quarter. When I had added everything that I had spent, I wanted to simply throw my head back and scream until I was hoarse. The best was that there was no way around the situation. I had to have these books if expected to pass any of my classes. My professors had assigned them, and so I was forced to stand in lines of hundreds, being shoved and pushed, having random books others had stupidly left teetering on the edges of shelves fall on my half-frozen feet, and finally gouged by ridiculous prices.

If I were a professor, every part of my lesson plan would come from either the cheapest books possible or would rely completely on notes of my own, just to spare my students from the pain of trekking to the bookstore to be raped by McGraw-Hill and others. However, I place no real blame on the professors of my school. No, that blames lies completely on the greedy publishing companies, who after insisting on glossy pages, hardcover books, and new editions every two minutes, still need to get their 80% cut from the book sales. The only reason a new Molecular Genetics book costs $150 is because Prentice Hall insists on its $125.

The world would be such a better place if people were not so goddamn greedy. Everything, especially in the US, has to bigger and better and faster and brighter. In trying to take my own stand against high text book prices, I would acquire only later editions of books, noting that the differences between the 8th and 9th editions of the books was the addition of a "Did You Know?" section halfway through each chapter, not to mention the extra 50$ the publishers tacked on to the already outrageous price. It is that kind of thing that makes people explode and start shooting anyone in his or her path, and the reason why I would volunteer to keep these said people supplied with weapons.

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