This article has multiple issues. Wikipedia editor’s personal feelings about a topic. Textbooks sell pdf books online produced according to the demands of educational institutions. The history of textbooks dates back to civilizations of ancient history.
The modern textbook has its roots in the standardization made possible by the printing press. The new technology of writing meant stories no longer needed to be memorized, a development Socrates feared would weaken the Greeks’ mental capacities for memorizing and retelling. The next revolution for books came with the 15th-century invention of printing with changeable type. Gutenberg’s invention made mass production of texts possible for the first time. Although the Gutenberg Bible itself was expensive, printed books began to spread widely over European trade routes during the next 50 years, and by the 16th century, printed books had become more widely accessible and less costly. Europe led to the printing of many standardized texts for children. Textbooks have become the primary teaching instrument for most children since the 19th century.
Technological advances change the way people interact with textbooks. Online and digital materials are making it increasingly easy for students to access materials other than the traditional print textbook. Students now have access to electronic and PDF books, online tutoring systems and video lectures. The textbook market does not operate in the same manner as most consumer markets. But the price of the textbook still isn’t typically taken into account when this occurs and isn’t part of the perception of the product. This fundamental difference in the market is often cited as the primary reason that prices are high. The term “broken market” first appeared in the economist James Koch’s analysis of the market commissioned by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
This situation is exacerbated by the lack of competition in the textbook market. 30 to just a handful. Consequently, there is less competition than there used to be, and the high cost of starting up keeps new companies from entering. Most college bookstores offer used copies of textbooks at lower prices.
Most bookstores will also buy used copies back from students at the end of a term if the book is going to be re-used at the school. Textbook companies have countered this by encouraging faculty to assign homework that must be done on the publisher’s website. If a student has a new textbook, then he or she can use the pass code in the book to register on the site. If the student has purchased a used textbook, then he or she must pay money directly to the publisher in order to access the website and complete assigned homework. Students who look beyond the campus bookstore can typically find lower prices.
With the ISBN or title, author and edition, most textbooks can be located through online used book sellers or retailers. Harvard economics chair James K. Stock has stated that new editions are often not about significant improvements to the content. Textbook publishers maintain these new editions are driven by faculty demand. The PIRG study has been criticized by publishers, who argue that the report contains factual inaccuracies regarding the annual average cost of textbooks per student. Even though the book costs less up-front, the student will not recover any of the cost through resale. Another publishing industry practice that has been highly criticized is “bundling,” or shrink-wrapping supplemental items into a textbook.
Supplemental items range from CD-ROMs and workbooks to online passcodes and bonus material. Students do not always have the option to purchase these items separately, and often the one-time-use supplements destroy the resale value of the textbook. If publishers continue to increase these investments, particularly in technology, the cost to produce a textbook is likely to continue to increase in the future. Bundling has also been used as a means of segmenting the used book market.