The cost of college books


It is truly astonishing how much a book will cost to learn a particular subject from a college educator. I have a vivid memory of college and paying $50.00 – $90.00 for a college book in the early eighties. I soon discovered the professors used only 1/3 of the information from the book I purchased and was only required to read few chapters.

As the years progressed I continued my education while in the military and as a law enforcement official and quickly discovered that the cost of books continued to rise in price. I took a class in the late eighties and the book cost was above $100.00 and throughout the decade of the nineties I witnessed college books cost climb in price above $200.00 – $300.00 dollars.

I’m not sure, but I guess the cost increased may have been because of the new knowledge in a particular field of study, however I can’t understand how American History that has been written about by so many historians and is basically a knowledge with a personal view point about the facts and circumstances of a particular point in history for which the facts can be readily accessed from the US Library of Congress.

The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin and a group of his friends, became the first American subscription library. The Library Company, while founded as a membership library, that allowed members to borrow books, and so may have been the first truly public library.

If old Benjamin Franklin were alive today, I guess he would be shocked to discover the cost of knowledge that is readily available for free in libraries across America.

The University of MD is in the process of formulating a program that would allow students who attend and pay tuition to receive their college books for free! With the last 4-5 years I have known college students who didn’t purchase their book, instead they rented their books and they were downloaded to their personal computer with an option to purchase at the end of the semester.

The cost of rental was either half the price of the books original price to $50.00 or less for several chapters of the book.

Recently a in the fall of 2013, in the Bexar Co. TX which encompasses the city of San Antonio opened the first ever bookless library, “yes bookless”. The 4000, square foot building is a digital library and it is free. How would Benjamin like that for innovation!

With so many books readily available for free, I wonder how long before institutions of higher learning will ask student to refer to their local library for their books on the subject matter and read chapters for the test, Class time will be limited to interacting with students to broaden their knowledge, listening skills and discussing the subject matter among students.

Who knows this may reduce the cost of college, yeah right!