Text Books: The Other College Expense

With the cost of tuition rising, college professors should eliminate the use of textbooks and instead begin using e-books.


While I still believe that some type of reference is necessary for classes at the college level, technology has made it possible to not only take the same information and make it lighter, it has all so made it possible to make it interactive.


Carole Walters of Flat World Knowledge, a publisher of free and open textbooks, was quoted in a Fox Business article recently talking about the cost of books.


“The College Board reports that in 2010-2011, students could expect to spend an average of $1,137 on textbooks and supplies,” Walters said.


It is pretty excessive for a book that you might use again, or a book that the professor will quote once or twice in the middle of a lecture, even though it was required to get.


The cost is not even including having to wait in front of the bookstore while you check in your belongings, and then walking through the rows and rows looking for a book that might not even be in the shelves; in which case you would have to return on a different day.


However, if your required book is on the shelves (lucky you) than standing in the long lines with other lucky students will give you a chance to meet your fellow classmates.


Who you will have to fight to the death for the spot in the class that you have to crash because by the time that your registration date came along classes were full.


But, I am getting a head of myself, back to the books.


In the past I have found that buying my books at the college bookstore may not be the most economical decision, and that there are other locations that may have a more reasonable prices.


This is only convenient if the store has the book your professor is requiring and the correct edition.


One year I turned to buying my books online, it was by far the best choice.


Finding the book was as easy as typing the title into google and comparing prices.


With a few clicks my job was done and in 7 to 10 business days the book was at my door.


But, there is a better way.


Electronic Books or E-Books have made life for the college student so much easier.


Now I understand that most students do not have $399 to drop on an iPad, but other electric readers are more reasonable.


On Amazon.com the Kindle eReader starts at $79 and the Nook from Barnes & Noble starts at $99.99, according to BestBuy.com


It is also a good idea to look at products like this during special sales or as a package deal in order to lower the cost, but they are still around the same price as one book.


Some students already own a deceive like this or can download books on their smart phones.


When transitioning to E-Readers some students maybe concerned with loosing certain perks to paperbacks like highlighting things and being able to flip back and forth between page.


But, they should not worry because all these things have been taken into consideration by the manufacturer, and are possible in one way or another.


Apple has also come out with interactive textbooks that have 3D and interactive images that would make subject such as biology and astronomy more comprehendible.


Sharing books with friends can also be done.


The Kindle allows up to six devices to share the same book so now the cost of one book can be divided without having to take turns with the same book, or having to meet up and study together.


In addition, after the semester is over the devices can be deactivated from the account and six new devices can be registered.


While one can not sell back E-Books like a normal textbook, the student still comes up ahead because buybacks usually do not even give you half of the original price, if they are willing to buy it back.


So, while I can still be found walking around campus with my nose in a good old fashion paperback novel, I wouldn’t mind if my math book was not 5lbs or $115.