Textbook prices: Has the campus bookstore gone too far?


By Matt Gibson

     These days in this troubled economy, people cannot afford to go out to eat, go on vacation, purchase a new house or car, or do anything else because everyone is practically going bankrupt. The stock market is constantly down and the hard-earned life savings of millions of Americans is slowly dwindling away. That’s why it seems unbelievable that our campus bookstore is still charging students so much money for textbooks.

     It seems that with every passing semester, the prices of textbooks seems to increase more and more, and every semester a bigger hole gets burned into our wallets. If you ask anyone if they think that the bookstore is charging too much money for textbooks, it is almost guaranteed that they will answer with a resounding “yes”. One would think that the cost of a used book would be a lot cheaper than the cost of a new book, but in the bookstore, a used book is just as expensive as a brand new book.

     For example, if you purchase the textbook for Introduction to Biology (BIO 101), it will cost you $150.00 for a new copy and $112.50 for a used copy. Another example is for PSY 101 (Psychology). A new textbook will cost you $96.65 and a used one will cost $72.50. Obviously, there are probably textbooks for certain courses that are cheaper or more expensive then the two previously mentioned, but those were just some examples. What is even worse than the amount of money the bookstore charges for textbooks is their textbook buyback system. The campus bookstore website states that “you could get up to 50 percent of what you paid for your books by selling them back to the bookstore.” However, what the website states is not necessarily factual information. Many students have claimed that they have been “ripped off” by the buyback program because they only received 5 percent or 10 percent of what they paid for their books, which equals less than half of the initial cost of the said textbooks.

     Perhaps one day the bookstore will realize the truth, that they are ripping us off with their excessive prices for textbooks and their ridiculous buyback program. With the high prices in the cafeteria and the college tuition that seems to become more expensive with each semester, the bookstore could afford to be a bit more lenient and cut down their prices. I am sure that they have mentioned the idea of lowering their prices a million times already, but saying it and actually doing it are two completely different things.

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