College Textbook Prices [infographic]

September 6, 2012 |  by  |  Education

Alas, another semester of school has graced its presence upon us. And for those of us who are in college, so begins the painful, raging fire that will burn a giant hole in our pockets. As I breathe a sigh of relief after forking over several thousand dollars for tuition, I somehow have to magically conjure another $300 to pay for books.

Buying books hurts my soul. And I’m not exaggerating. I’ll mope around and eat Ramen cause that’s seriously all I can afford after paying for tuition and books. Why in the world are textbooks so expensive?! Today’s infographic tells us why. Turns out, it’s because textbook companies know that well pay for it. It’s all about supply and demand. They have the freaking golden key to textbooks, and darn it, we need that key. Thankfully as I have become older and wiser, I have discovered renting and online book purchasing. Now I can upgrade to a heartier, more wholesome soup, like Progresso to replenish my achy broke soul. [via]

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  • Catie

    This graphic is giving people blatant misinformation. Publishers are not evil people. Textbooks cost so much because there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into creating a book, particularly a first addition. Theres a gigantic team of people who not only write the material, but edit it, make sure it will make sense to students, create the layout, cover, market it, and sell it. The profit margin is not all that high given the work put it.

    When you buy used textbooks you are cheating all of these people, particularly the authors, out of their royalties on the book. Often times, it is actually book stores that put a huge markup on the book so that they can make more profit. Companies like Amazon are atempting to eliminate publishers all together by engaging in lawsuits and creating bad-quality textbooks for a cheap value, which could possibly put countless Americans who work in the publishing industry out of work . E-books are not any cheaper for the publisher to produce because the electronic platforms are incredibly expensive for a publisher to buy and then manipulate for the book, making ebooks equal to or more than the cost of print books.

    My mom has worked in the publishing industry for 20 years and she is the hardest working person I have ever met. There is no such thing as a 9 to 5 job for her and this graphic is lessening and demonizing the incredible work she does in trying to make the most comprehensive textbooks for American students.

    • jim

      a fiction writer can work twice as hard for years and put his heart and soul into his novel and it’ll sell for $20. Textbooks are hundreds of dollars because people have to buy them no matter how expensive they are. the bastard that make them know that.

  • Simon Bérubé

    Pony tail and bluetooth in ear. Haha.

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