Course Requirement: Extortion: Book Analysis

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It is a college student’s responsibility to buy textbooks every semester. At several colleges, it is mandatory for students obtain their textbooks before the class begins. One of the major concerns with buying textbooks is the prices. The majority of textbooks have prices over $100, which is a price several students cannot afford. With these prices, colleges may have to include additional payment options such as buying used and renting. The problem with these methods is they drive textbook prices even higher. Michael Granof’s paper, “Course Requirement: Extortion,” explains how few students buy new textbooks, which is why these textbooks are expensive; and gives insight on how these prices could possibly be lowered. While one may be tempted …show more content…
It is rare for students to use a textbook in multiple classes from different professors. When students are done with their textbook, they have two possibilities: they can keep their textbook, or they can sell it. If they keep their textbooks, the textbooks will probably sit on the shelf collecting dust, but if they sell their textbooks, even with annotations, they will receive a large portion of the cost back. The United States Congress’ Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance proposed a solution to high textbook prices. “The committee’s report … mainly proposes strengthening the market for used textbooks – by encouraging college bookstores to guarantee that they will buy back textbooks, establishing online book swaps among students, and urging the faculty to avoid switching textbooks from one semester to the next,” which shows how even the government approves of buying back textbooks (Granof 206). If students buy new textbooks, they have the possibility of getting their money back. Not only does the student benefit from new textbooks, but the author also …show more content…
If every student begins to buy new textbooks, there will be a surplus of used textbooks. Publishers will definitely have a large profit, but the number of wasted textbooks will be large also. Several used textbooks are in almost brand new condition, and if students could pay cheaper to get the same product, they probably will not buy the more expensive product. The Committee’s plan for making textbooks cheaper, while students usually follow it, does not work. “The fatal flaw in that proposal (and similar ones made by many state legislatures) is used books are the cause, not the cure for, high textbook prices,” which shows how the committee’s proposal is the cause for high textbook prices (Granof 206). The prices of textbooks will lower dramatically if every student buys new textbooks. To make up for the wasted textbooks, students can recycle their textbooks when they finish them. Manufacturers can use the recycled paper to produce more books. Depending on the condition of the book, publishers may be able to find a way to resell used books in near perfect condition at near full price, which will benefit the publisher. Campus bookstores can pay the students a small portion of the price of the textbooks for the students to give the textbooks back. The store could then ship these books to the publisher, and the publisher can recycle or resell the books. With this solution, the students, the textbook publishers,

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