College Professors, Their Published Textbooks & Organized Crime


College Professors, Their Published Textbooks & Organized Crime
M.D. Wright
12.10.08

That’s about what it amounts to, right?

When I initially began college out in Brooklyn back in 1997, books barely ran me $100 total — and that included a Computer Programming book; which Computer Science majors know are notoriously and perennially the most expensive books out there.

I just spent over $1,000 in textbooks and supplemental readings/DVDs for my six classes in the Fall 2008 semester. I’ve attempted to sell all but one of those books back in the past few days. The grand total I’ve received:

$74.

GOOD. LORD.

It’s not as if I have money to throw away, but land sakes, man I don’t even think I used half those books. I know at least four of the sixteen I never even OPENED except to demonstrate to the UNCG Bookstore or Edward McKay’s that it was in good shape. Heck, pages were still stuck together in some of them.

My two theory books from this semester ran me about $165. I got $26 by selling one of them back about six weeks ago. We never used it. We never referenced the book. We had three essays for that class and while I got an “A” in the class (of course), I wish I had known that I didn’t need the books beforehand. The other book, which was $70 itself, is for some unexplained reason not being taken by UNCG, McKay’s or Textbooks.com ($7.50 for a book I paid $70 for and is still in brand new condition???).

And let’s not forget the typical “we’re not taking this edition (nevermind it was just printed in early 2008) anymore” or “this is an older edition, we’re not accepting this anymore” or “it’s not even showing up in our system”. What in the world…

Does anyone not see what’s going on here?

Along with publishing standardized texts, (the people at Kaplan are making money hand over fist) publishing textbooks is the big thing these days. It used to be that a book was viable for 3-5 years, especially in a concrete discipline. I can understand certain subjects where new information becomes available almost daily and requires new printing every semester — possibly. But HISTORY for instance… why is a new textbook required every semester? I bought three books for my US History class. I think I spent about $75 total on the three of them. I got $5 back for them. I am almost ashamed that I was trying to sell them when I couldn’t even buy a friggin’ combo at Wendy’s with that.

So many professors are now getting their works published and requiring students to buy their texts. They get their university salaries (funded by ever-rising tuition costs — exceeding $50,000/yr. at schools such as NYU) plus advances and royalties for their published books? Meanwhile, we buy these books, rarely if ever use them, then CAN’T sell them back, because no one cares about so and so’s book; it’s not widely accepted throughout the discipline, so there is no widespread demand for it. Goodness gracious sakes alive. Gag me with a spoon here.

This sounds like organized crime hah. You have to pay a portion of your take-home to the mob just to stay in business or you get your arms and legs broken or worse. The parallel with education is simply you don’t get your education, fall behind and end up changing manhole covers and cursing at people who yell at you because you are holding up traffic on the Van Wyck. Is this where we are? It’s definitely a racket. Heck, if it’s legal and I can avoid RICO charges, I want in.

I’m almost scared to get married before I ever finish school. Being single is about the only way I’ll be able to afford graduate/law school. LOL

BTW, why are so many states and the government claiming education is affordable? IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE OUT LOANS TO PAY FOR –ANYTHING– IT IS NOT “AFFORDABLE”. What is wrong with these capitalist pigs???

It’s all good, though. Capitalism as we know it is on a high-speed track with no brakes heading for one of those wall barriers on I-66 heading toward Warshington, DC. You won’t have to like or agree with Obama and his “share the wealth” (which I don’t subscribe to — I’m more of a Free Trade guy myself) because that’s the only way any company is going to be viable by 2020.

If Christ doesn’t come back after saying “enough already…”

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