22 Books: 4 Months to Read Them, Mucho Dinero To Buy Them


Written on 9:47 PM by Jack B.

So my reading list this semester is 22 seperate texts. Now that seems a lot but...not really. I can pretty much clear 100 pages an hour when I feel like it. I don't have many talents but speed reading is one of them. The real problem is how much this is going to set me back - I figure around $200. Which when you think about it is not that much - many textbooks these go for over $100 apiece! That's the downside of college (one of them anyway), the bookstores and the publishers know that poor (and most are indeed poor) students have no choice but to buy the book their professors have assigned to them so publishers can charge whatever they want. Then every few years they change a word or two, re-arrange some chapters and BOOM they have a new addition to put out that students have to buy (instead of getting used copies of older editions) . It's all such a scam. And the worse thing is when you're finished with the textbook (and let's face it - for most subjects you're never going to be using these books again) and try to sell it back you'll get something like 1% of what you paid for it. For instance, I purchased a $60 softover edition of The Canterbury Tales for a class on...well...The Canterbury Tales, and when I tried to sell it back the next semester the bookstore offered $5! Well I said, to hell with that, and just kept the book. For those who actually sell the book back, they have the distinct pleasure of seeing the same book they just sold back for ten bucks on sale at the bookstore used for $40! Like I said, it's all a scam, and they do it at every college (that I know of). Being an English major most of my assigned readings are literary classics that are available everywhere at various prices but for those studying a more specific subject like say, oceanography or bio-physics, where books have are highly specialized by and only put out by a few publishers, well let's just say: they're screwed.

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