Saturday, September 18, 2004

Textbook Prices Get Ridiculous

According to the Washington Post prices for college textbooks continue to rise faster than inflation. The National Association of College Bookstores (Who would have believed such a thing could exist?) states that wholesale book prices have risen almost 40% in the last five years.

Sadly, students often can find identical books for sale overseas for much cheaper prices.

Publishers use a variety of tricks to keep the prices rising. One such technique is to issue new editions of standard texts nearly every year. Professors, under pressure from college administrations to keep their courses "current" adopt the new edition for their classes. The result is that this "kills" the resale market for earlier, used editions. Of course, the new edition always costs more money than the earlier edition.

Resourceful students are attempting to cope. Some order their texts from various Web sites such as Books on Campus or Dog Ears. Even so, the average cost of a new college text, with ancillary study materials, has now hit a staggering $102.44.