Inside Higher Ed has an article
this week on a flap between the Student Public Interest Research Group and a textbook publishers' association. PIRG claimed that college students spend an average of $900 annually on textbooks. As the textbook publisher association pointed out, they were misquoting a study that found that students pay an average of $900 annually for textbooks and fees. The textbooks' share of this, the publishers correct, is only $650.
ONLY $650???? Yikes.
Then the finger-pointing ensues. Is it the fault of the professors, who are the ones who choose and require the expensive books? The publishers who set wholesale prices? The bookstores, who regulalry mark up the retail price up to 50% over the sugggested retail price?
And the most important question: is there any alternative?