Text Books and Their Discontents

What do you do when you are told that the textbook for the course “costs too much”?

Here’s what I did:

1. Apologized that it was expensive.
2. Explained that this is the only existing anthology on the particular subject and that it would have cost more for them buy the texts individually.
3. Suggested that all the texts could probably be obtained via library but it would require some diligent scrambling on their part and quite possibly major interlibrary loan action (plus, there wouldn’t be enough to go around if the whole class did that, plus they wouldn’t include the very useful “introductions” to the texts that I count on them having read).
3. Went home and did online searches to locate what I could online and posted those links to class website (however, they don’t include the very useful “introductions”).

I do understand: felt as student that every book I bought for school cost too much. That’s the textbook racket in a nutshell. But I wouldn’t have said anything to the prof about it. (And it didn’t help that one of the stus said, “Well, I’d expect to pay this much for a science book but not literature.” Ouch.)


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