Who’s Screwing Whom? – The Great Textbook / Bookstore Debate

As we’re in the midst of back-to-school rush, I’m reading some interesting industry-related articles and posts. While many are the standard “how to save on college, dorm decor, food, textbooks, etc.,” types of writings, a few more-detailed (and more honest and daring) posts have caught my attention. I wanted to take a moment to share them with you.


The New Republic, “How College Bookstores Are Killing College Bookstores”
In this post, Mark Athitakis explores how the college bookstore has gone from being dependent on selling textbooks to a vendor of anything but — namely a services outpost selling everything but textbooks.


Luke Thomas, “The Textbook Industry & Greed: My Story”
This is a firsthand account of a student trying to purchase books and the hassles and hurdles and confrontations he and his wife faced trying to do so without breaking the bank. It’s a real-life account of the cruel world of academic book-buying, and it isn’t pretty.


And of course, something from the vault . . .
The Textbook Guru, “Why Can’t I Buy My Books Anywhere But The Bookstore?”
My take on the bookstore’s attempt to move to custom publications and the negative impact on students.
Part 1: http://thetextbookguru.com/2012/08/07/i-cant-find-my-textbook/
Part 2: http://thetextbookguru.com/2012/08/09/i-cant-find-my-textbookpart-2/
Reactions: http://thetextbookguru.com/2012/08/10/why-cant-i-buy-my-book-any-where-but-the-bookstore-reaction/

  1. Jeff, Great finds! I had read Mark’s article in The New Republic and was impressed at how much this “Novel” blogger knew about textbooks and the way things work. And Luke’s post is insightful given his point of view. I am even more impressed that a student dug so deep into the process. Buying textbooks is often such a whirlwind–he showed patience in documenting everything and I appreciate him sharing his experience.

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