Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Why are Textbooks So Expensive?

The price of textbooks is ramping up far faster than inflation, and with good reason, say publishers.

From a story in US News and World Report...

"I was going to get my books at the store, but people have been saying they're cheaper other places," like on, she says. That could save her some serious money. Her most expensive book, a calculus textbook, is $289.

A few aisles away, second-year political science Ph.D. student Lucas Winter considers his options. He could rent his books, he says, as he points to the prices on one of his course books—$35 to buy it new, $22.75 to rent it.

"It's not worth it," he says. With such a small price difference, says Winter, he might as well pay full price and keep the book.

Students currently have more textbook-procurement options than ever: buy them new or used (at the bookstore or online), rent them, or buy or rent e-textbooks on their Kindles or iPads. However, as students like Kadue and Winter choose, their prices are being constantly pushed upward. According to the Labor Department, textbook prices as of July were 8.1 percent higher than in July 2011, while prices for all goods only grew by 1.4 percent overall.

No comments: