Alina Intisar

The reading for this week made me think of how business has become an important aspect of books in modern culture. It reminded me of how every semester, students go through a dreaded moment where they have to buy new edition textbooks. The purpose of publishing a new edition is to add or subtract information to enhance our learning, but the price change is a sarcastic slap from publishers to the already buried in debt college students. One change in a sentence in a paragraph of a chapter which we would probably not even read, we end up paying for a newer edition textbook with a 5-fold increase in price. I wonder if its really necessary to publish new editions one after another for mere purpose of making more money? This also raises another question, with such dramatic increase in prices from older to newer edition textbooks, can we still blame college students for downloading textbooks from the internet?

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3 thoughts on “Alina Intisar

  1. I think this is very interesting and to bring up college textbooks is very televent. It makes a lot of sense to mention the fact that student are intact paying a huge increase in prices for a newer editions textbook which does not have much of a change to begin with. What I would like to bring up into this conversation is the rise of population of ebooks, which are a lot cheaper. This is related to the technology conversation that we had in class and how media has changed with the improvement in technologies. Now that tablets and laptops are more commonly used by students in the classroom, ebooks are more commonly purchased versus the traditional hard copy textbook. What does this mean for the future of printing companies who continuously jack up the prices to their new edition textbooks?

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  2. I agree that the selling books has become more business oriented because now they can be purchased everywhere and in any form. On kindles, tablets, computers, iPhones, etc. It’s probably difficult owning a book store if no one is buying books tangibly. In the history of books, books have always been available to everyone. Over the years with technology, change and growth the making of the books have become more costly, so not only are buying books becoming expensive not many people can afford them, which makes it seem exclusive. Some people can’t afford a reading books and many can’t afford textbooks. Education is not for everyone and with new standards for every job or career there has to better and improved education. Therefore, new textbooks and new textbook editions, which means you can’t blame students for downloading textbooks because some of have to pay for college out of pocket or financial aid doesn’t give us enough to cover textbook expenses. It’s sometime more affordable getting it over the internet.

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    • I would disagree and say that books have not always been available to everyone. Before the mechanization of print, creating books was a lot more time consuming as it had to be done by hand and often through scribes, so books had a lot more culture value. Owning books in the distant past was a symbol of status and the average person did not have access to them. In my opinion, books have never been cheap and still aren’t. I think as far as making books accessible through different platforms such as E-books, it’s a natural progression in an industry that is loosing relevance. The print industry, like all other industries, has to adapt to sociocultural changes. Being that online books are usually cheaper, this seems to be accommodating to students. Not only do you not have to lug around a heavy book and risk losing or damaging it, which you will ultimately have to pay for, but you can access it almost anywhere through the internet at a moment’s notice. E-books are not at all discouraged by professors, who for the most part have been agreeable (in my experience) to allowing different versions of the book with the knowledge that publishers are running a business–unless they wrote a book themselves and make you buy it (which is extremely annoying). We live in an age of information where information is more available than ever before. So, it is not surprising that textbooks be out there for free download. This is yet another challenge that publishers will have to confront as books move over to digital mediums. Maybe it will force them to rethink their strategy as far as up charging so much for new editions.

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