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Old 08-02-2013, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,883 posts, read 5,899,863 times
Reputation: 2762

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I'm glad I got out of buying the college text book game.

-It was nothing but a sham, rip off, deception, artificially high fees. They seem to do everything to line their pockets.

For example,

-I remember books that had a CD in the back. The cost was $100, $120? And once the CD pouch was opened, you couldn't return it! The irony is that the CD was supplemental, it wasn't integral to understanding the material or teaching the course.

-Then there are the books "wrapped in plastic" that you can't return once opened. Why would a little 10 cent piece of plastic dictate how (or if) you can return a book or resell it?

The "addition" of chapters always seemed specious or suspect. Maybe 2 new chapters out of 10, and you have to buy a whole new book.

The whole system seemed ripe for a lot of innovation and change. Why not just buy the chapters you need for an extra $10 or $20? If you had ebooks (kindles or ipads) you wouldn't have to worry about highlighting, torn pages, etc. The system seems like it's out of the 70's. The internet is going to be a huge disruptor of higher education. I hope it eats into those excessive profits.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,569 posts, read 7,754,262 times
Reputation: 4059
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I'm glad I got out of buying the college text book game.

-It was nothing but a sham, rip off, deception, artificially high fees. They seem to do everything to line their pockets.

For example,

-I remember books that had a CD in the back. The cost was $100, $120? And once the CD pouch was opened, you couldn't return it! The irony is that the CD was supplemental, it wasn't integral to understanding the material or teaching the course.

-Then there are the books "wrapped in plastic" that you can't return once opened. Why would a little 10 cent piece of plastic dictate how (or if) you can return a book or resell it?

The "addition" of chapters always seemed specious or suspect. Maybe 2 new chapters out of 10, and you have to buy a whole new book.

The whole system seemed ripe for a lot of innovation and change. Why not just buy the chapters you need for an extra $10 or $20? If you had ebooks (kindles or ipads) you wouldn't have to worry about highlighting, torn pages, etc. The system seems like it's out of the 70's. The internet is going to be a huge disruptor of higher education. I hope it eats into those excessive profits.
I always wondered if a shrink wrapping machine (?) would not have been a wise investment for a college student.

I am always a bit unsure as to what to do at the beginning of a semester, but I can tell you that I have made As now in more than one course where the book was 'required' yet I never bought it. Last semester I realized I needed to give in to buy the book -- for the final. So I literally had it for about two weeks before turning around and selling it and I really only needed it because I'd missed some classes late in the semester and didn't have good notes.

In an ethics course, I bought the older edition of the book for about $4 compared to the $100 for the new one and the only difference was, when the professor wanted us to turn to page 120 to read about Kantian theory, I had to have common sense enough to look in the table of contents and realize that it was page 110 in my book. So silly!
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,883 posts, read 5,899,863 times
Reputation: 2762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally_Sparrow View Post
I always wondered if a shrink wrapping machine (?) would not have been a wise investment for a college student.

I am always a bit unsure as to what to do at the beginning of a semester, but I can tell you that I have made As now in more than one course where the book was 'required' yet I never bought it. Last semester I realized I needed to give in to buy the book -- for the final. So I literally had it for about two weeks before turning around and selling it and I really only needed it because I'd missed some classes late in the semester and didn't have good notes.

In an ethics course, I bought the older edition of the book for about $4 compared to the $100 for the new one and the only difference was, when the professor wanted us to turn to page 120 to read about Kantian theory, I had to have common sense enough to look in the table of contents and realize that it was page 110 in my book. So silly!
I went to college from 1996-2004. A few years at community college, then transfered to a 4 year school. The whole book thing was a SCAM IMO.

It seemed like every semester, students wondered...."should I buy the book". "Should I open it up". The whole shrinkwrap thing was absurd. Opening the shrink wrap devalued the book to $0? Who believes that? And these are college students, supposedly smart, lol.

-Many books were never required for the entire semester? I.e. only read it before the final. Then the supplemental books? Little pamphlets? They charge you $40-60 for?? The pricing structure was crazy.

You also wonder, why do you need to "update" math or psychology? Do those change very much? Something like astronomy, I could see updating frequently, because that subject changes a lot.

LOL, they should hand out shrink wrapping machines to students on the 1st day.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
38,936 posts, read 23,961,589 times
Reputation: 14125
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
You also wonder, why do you need to "update" math or psychology? Do those change very much? Something like astronomy, I could see updating frequently, because that subject changes a lot.
Only if the ADA declares a current disorder to no longer be legitimate disorder (anyone remember Homosexuality was a disorder in the 70's,) there is new criteria to consider what is and isn't a disorder or a new disorder altogether. As for math, I don't see much of a case.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:53 PM
 
5,652 posts, read 19,372,645 times
Reputation: 4121
"Odds are your school library will have the book on reserve" yeah our univ library did this. Because one teacher had his own text as the textbook. And there WAS no books available for sale back then. the ONLY copies were 12 available in the library. 12 for a class of 50. And you guessed it, around finals time, none were available. And yes, scumbags ripped sections right out of the books... this was back in the 80s. To this day I cannot believe the Univ was OK with this!!
I know lots of people who do not go through the school bookstores for their texts. Dialogue with the professors seems to be a good way around the cost issues.
What I want to know it, WHY have they not gotten e-books for most if not all textbooks yet?
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:12 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,077 times
Reputation: 10
The latest and worst scam is the online "key" that accompanies certain textbook. This "key" gets the student access to homework assignments and other class activities. They have essentially killed ones ability to buy a book from someone who may have just finished the class last semester. Without the "key", one cannot pass the course. And the "keys" are no longer sold separately.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:14 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 14,354,776 times
Reputation: 2400
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMH View Post
The latest and worst scam is the online "key" that accompanies certain textbook. This "key" gets the student access to homework assignments and other class activities. They have essentially killed ones ability to buy a book from someone who may have just finished the class last semester. Without the "key", one cannot pass the course. And the "keys" are no longer sold separately.
Depends on the textbook and the publisher. The students I have all were able to buy the "key" or access code separately without any trouble.
"What I want to know it, WHY have they not gotten e-books for most if not all textbooks yet" Who? Anyone can buy e-texts - you go to the publisher's website, but only if the text is available in that format.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:04 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 61,389,189 times
Reputation: 10696
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMH View Post
The latest and worst scam is the online "key" that accompanies certain textbook. This "key" gets the student access to homework assignments and other class activities. They have essentially killed ones ability to buy a book from someone who may have just finished the class last semester. Without the "key", one cannot pass the course. And the "keys" are no longer sold separately.
Our daughter's biology prof only had them buy the key..not the book. The book lists for $256 but they key was $55. He has the reading they need to do online or with handouts. We were very happy about that
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