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(Washington Post)   You know the price of college textbooks is getting out of hand when one gang of thieves can steal $90,000 of them from local libraries   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 123
    More: Asinine  
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4653 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Nov 2009 at 11:34 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-11 08:51:20 AM  
The getaway car was probably a motorcycle.
 
2009-11-11 10:52:09 AM  
The getaway motorcycle was probably the Millennium Falcon.
 
2009-11-11 11:31:02 AM  
And that's just one book!
 
2009-11-11 11:36:24 AM  
Mentat: And that's just one book!

Don't exaggerate. It's clearly at least two, but no more than three.
 
2009-11-11 11:38:21 AM  
Costs of textbooks are farking absurd. As is the price of tuition in general. But don't dare call higher education a business trying to make a profit, NOOOO. That would be an insult to their noble pursuit. *rollseyes*
 
2009-11-11 11:39:15 AM  
Nothing pissed me off more than paying $160 for a Finance textbook prior to a course. And then the 1st day the Prof goes, "I don't really like this book, so we'll just use it as a reference". Then don't farking make us buy the book!
 
2009-11-11 11:40:26 AM  
You know, I've bought a lot of textbooks in my time, and I don't think any of them were worth the sticker price. Especially when they were listed as required materials, but the professor never used them.

Also, "Ivey and other law enforcement officials said the alleged thieves obtained library cards using their real names, checked out large numbers of books, then sold them instead of returning them."

Did you think your cunning plan all the way through?
 
2009-11-11 11:40:26 AM  
I don't even really mind paying $100 for a nice big hard-cover casebook or something like that. It's the $65 spiral bound or $85 LOOSE LEAF packets that sends me 'round the bend.
 
2009-11-11 11:40:55 AM  
sboyle1020: Nothing pissed me off more than paying $160 for a Finance textbook prior to a course. And then the 1st day the Prof goes, "I don't really like this book, so we'll just use it as a reference". Then don't farking make us buy the book!

Actually buying books is for losers.
 
2009-11-11 11:42:49 AM  
You know professors get a cut of the profits from the books they use in class, right?
 
2009-11-11 11:42:52 AM  
Stop buying them and take better notes.
 
2009-11-11 11:42:59 AM  
My teachers only used really heavy books that they could throw from a distance.
/big old blackboard erasers too
//feeling very old today
 
2009-11-11 11:43:15 AM  
RamblinReck89: Actually buying books is for losers.

You're probably right. But surprisingly, colleges somehow fail to print this in the student handbook.
 
2009-11-11 11:43:27 AM  
RamblinReck89: Mentat: And that's just one book!

Don't exaggerate. It's clearly at least two, but no more than three.


Depending on the book, it's more like 300 ($300) - 600 ($150).

/Haha j/k it's more like 4
 
2009-11-11 11:45:35 AM  
They have libraries in PG County?
 
2009-11-11 11:45:49 AM  
My 2nd year thermodynamics textbook was 89 pages, weighed 6 ounzes and could be photocopied for 8.90 cents.

It was written by the prof and cost $95 back in the early 90's.

Absurd.
 
2009-11-11 11:46:28 AM  
Fred Quimby: You know professors get a cut of the profits from the books they use in class, right?

As a professor, I'd like to say that I've been screwed.

I've never gotten a penny of book money. Somebody owes me my baksheesh, NOW.
 
2009-11-11 11:47:56 AM  
With the available of international textbooks and textbook torrents of them in pdf I think students today have it the easiest it has been in decades.
 
2009-11-11 11:48:05 AM  
Kareeshus: You know, I've bought a lot of textbooks in my time, and I don't think any of them were worth the sticker price. Especially when they were listed as required materials, but the professor never used them.

Also, "Ivey and other law enforcement officials said the alleged thieves obtained library cards using their real names, checked out large numbers of books, then sold them instead of returning them."

Did you think your cunning plan all the way through?


What a pack of dumbasses. Everyone knows you can't sell back college textbooks.
 
2009-11-11 11:48:39 AM  
Fred Quimby: You know professors get a cut of the profits from the books they use in class, right?

Uh, only if they wrote said book.

Anyway, a sh*t-ton amount of work goes into textbooks and they get distributed to a few thousand people. Do the math people: you're not paying for the fancy hardback binding, you're paying for the research and graphic design.
 
2009-11-11 11:48:47 AM  
Books are the biggest expense. That's where the schools/instructors get their kickbacks from those on Financial Aid.

/because Financial Aid does not cover books.
 
2009-11-11 11:49:31 AM  
I was a Chinese major in college. One of the Chinese professors would go to the textbook depot place and hang out in the Asian Studies section, holding up the Chinese textbook and the Japanese textbook. He'd say "Japanese textbook $75, Chinese textbook $12".

I think he really boosted enrollment that way.

/ya, I know, 好酷的故事,兄弟.
 
2009-11-11 11:50:25 AM  
Mentat: And that's just one book!



Came for this.
 
2009-11-11 11:50:52 AM  
My Biochem teacher gave us definitive proof that the "new" edition was just the old edition with the problems re-numbered. He gave us a conversion sheet that gave us the equivalent problem numbers between the two editions. Not a single problem that was in the new one, wasn't in the old one. And yet the new one cost $150 more.

That and Intro Calc or pretty much any basic math books that come out with new editions. Calculus and pretty much all of basic math was discovered centuries ago, what exactly are you putting in the farking "new" edition?

Text books are something I would happily pirate.
 
2009-11-11 11:51:04 AM  
yogaFLAME: Fred Quimby: You know professors get a cut of the profits from the books they use in class, right?

Uh, only if they wrote said book.

Anyway, a sh*t-ton amount of work goes into textbooks and they get distributed to a few thousand people. Do the math people: you're not paying for the fancy hardback binding, you're paying for the research and graphic design.


Yeah... Do you have any idea how much work it is to come up with a new color and artwork for the cover so you can call it a new edition?
 
2009-11-11 11:51:56 AM  
worth
 
2009-11-11 11:52:02 AM  
When are kids gonna learn that you just buy the previous edition on Amazon for about $10 bucks, and on the 1/1000000 chance that the new edition contains more than just different cover art, check it out on reserve from the library, photocopy the relevant pages or chapter for a few cents, and be on your way.


If you're spending hundreds of dollars on book every quarter/semester, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.
 
2009-11-11 11:52:27 AM  
ahhh, PG county. home to the dumbest criminals around.
 
2009-11-11 11:53:02 AM  
yogaFLAME: Anyway, a sh*t-ton amount of work goes into textbooks and they get distributed to a few thousand people. Do the math people: you're not paying for the fancy hardback binding, you're paying for the research and graphic design.

Maybe in the first edition but when the 2nd edition is just the 1st edition with the problems renumbered and the 3rd edition is just the 2nd edition with new pictures to make the pagination different etc, the costs are pretty minimal.
 
2009-11-11 11:54:05 AM  
Why Would I Read the Article: When are kids gonna learn that you just buy the previous edition on Amazon for about $10 bucks, and on the 1/1000000 chance that the new edition contains more than just different cover art, check it out on reserve from the library, photocopy the relevant pages or chapter for a few cents, and be on your way.


If you're spending hundreds of dollars on book every quarter/semester, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.


sorry, but I've never spent less than $300 in a single semester on books, and I always buy online when possible, and an older edition if reasonable.
But when there are only two editions of the book, one which came out in 1980 and one in 1998, and the "new" edition costs $40 used, there's not really much you can do.
or, for example, my history classes which required 4-5 textbooks, reasonable prices of around $10 a piece online, used, but when you're buying 5 of them, it adds up.
 
2009-11-11 11:54:36 AM  
Some people do know the personal value books can provide.
 
2009-11-11 11:55:23 AM  
That's why I never sold back my textbooks to the book store. They stock them the first time for 120 bucks a copy, sell the copy for 180, buy 'em back for 60 (maybe, if you're lucky) and then sell them again for 160.

I either sold mine myself to actual people, or just loaned them to friends. I had a freshman physics text (101 & 102) that I loaned out for 10 semesters...It showed up in the mail 2 years after I graduated (they'd gotten a new book finally) and was so beaten up that the "hard" covers of the book were as floppy as a paperback. $240 dollar book/12 semesters = 20 bucks a semester and a big "Fark you!" to the textbook industry.
 
2009-11-11 11:55:54 AM  
Those thieves will have to offload those textbooks fast before the publisher comes out with next quarter's edition, which will make the ones they stole suddenly worthless except as paper scrap. (Unless you're trying to study calculus or chemistry on your own, in which case the information contained is just as valuable as ever.)
 
2009-11-11 11:56:30 AM  
yogaFLAME: Fred Quimby: You know professors get a cut of the profits from the books they use in class, right?

Uh, only if they wrote said book.

Anyway, a sh*t-ton amount of work goes into textbooks and they get distributed to a few thousand people. Do the math people: you're not paying for the fancy hardback binding, you're paying for the research and graphic design.


So why not just rent the books to students with the option to buy them at the end of the semester? I didn't want to end up owning my history or math textbooks, but I had to anyways.

/they wouldn't sell on Amazon
 
2009-11-11 11:56:45 AM  
I worked at a textbook store in college (there were three for that college). Kids would steal them from one store and sell them back to another. We could tell who was doing it, but we really couldn't do anything about it since we didn't see them stealing. Always pissed me off.

But then again, I got my books for free since I worked at the store. It was awesome.
 
2009-11-11 11:58:59 AM  
My accounting professor wrote his books and it was awesome. He cut out all the crap we didn't need and went straight to the point.

Each book was $4.95

/didn't buy any books except math and once I was knee deep in the Cardiopulmonary program.
//saved a lot of money
 
Byn
2009-11-11 11:59:08 AM  
First semester I keenly went out and bought all the textbooks that were required. Each subsequent semester I wisely waited until the prof told me not to bother.

The profs who told their students NOT to buy the new edition text were usually the best teachers.
 
2009-11-11 12:00:34 PM  
lilacjive: I worked at a textbook store in college (there were three for that college). Kids would steal them from one store and sell them back to another. We could tell who was doing it, but we really couldn't do anything about it since we didn't see them stealing. Always pissed me off.

But then again, I got my books for free since I worked at the store. It was awesome.


Wow. People ripped off a college bookstore?

Where was this, Soviet Russia?
 
2009-11-11 12:01:03 PM  
The cool teachers would pick what they liked from the text and bring it to the University press and just have them copied. That way we'd pay $12 for some photocopied chapters as opposed to $160 for the entire book.
 
2009-11-11 12:01:06 PM  
I was glad to discover that upper level textbooks are cheaper than the stuff I used as an undergrad. I still get most of my books from the library when a professor assigns homework from the text, but I buy a cheap paperback for reference for usually under $30 if it's a Springer book and under $20 if Dover has something on the subject.
 
2009-11-11 12:03:13 PM  
I found a lot of my books online (some even on GoogleBooks) and I just used those. Ctrl + F was my friend.
 
2009-11-11 12:08:26 PM  
I rented my books from chegg.com not to be confused with cheggit.net btw
 
2009-11-11 12:08:41 PM  
My brother was in a class taught by 2 professor's switching off. Each had been heavily involved in writing two different textbooks. They were forced to buy both and read a different one every other class. I think didn't help the class. It did help the Professor's pocketbooks.
 
2009-11-11 12:09:44 PM  
$200 college textbooks is the real crime here if you ask me
 
2009-11-11 12:10:04 PM  
I didn't know felching was a crime.
 
2009-11-11 12:11:33 PM  
lanciepants: Costs of textbooks are farking absurd. As is the price of tuition in general. But don't dare call higher education a business trying to make a profit, NOOOO. That would be an insult to their noble pursuit. *rollseyes*

Academia, medicine, law... All major cons.

"If you want to get any benefit from this, you'll pay what we say it costs and like it."

Or, you know, they could foment a black market for text books, unaccredited "doctors", jailhouse lawyers and other crap.

It's past time for the market to adjust because inflating your goods and services didn't work for stocks and real estate and this BS isn't gonna work, either. And yeah, I am aware of "extrinsic and perceived values." Everything that can be inflated will eventually go *pop*.
 
2009-11-11 12:11:40 PM  
Second most fun I've had working at a library?

Dealing with sanctimonious douchebags who refuse to pay late fees.

Single most fun I've had working at a library?

Catching some jackass who actually tried to steal a book.

/never screw with a librarian's collection, we'll chase you, tackle you, and then show you the wonderful world of Library of Congress classification system.
 
2009-11-11 12:12:05 PM  
As a former college bookstore employee, this is pretty damn funny.

Depending on what subject it is, it's pretty normal now for a book to be $100-200, excluding literature. Business, math, and sciences (real ones, no psychology crap) tend to be more, around $150-250 per book. Assuming they stole nothing but Anatomy & Physiology books, or maybe Organic Chem, they only stole around 300 books.

Katie98_KT: sorry, but I've never spent less than $300 in a single semester on books, and I always buy online when possible, and an older edition if reasonable.

From what I've seen, people typically spend around $500 per semester, though I remember one customer whose total was around $900.

hachijuhachi: It's the $65 spiral bound or $85 LOOSE LEAF packets that sends me 'round the bend.

HA! We had spiral-bound books for $90 and loose-leaf for $130. Even better was seeing the rage on people's faces when I had to tell them "you need this looseleaf book. your professor requires it. i can't sell you that identical hardbound one for $10 more because that's for another professor".

/cool stories, bro?
 
2009-11-11 12:12:46 PM  
Postal Penguin: My Biochem teacher gave us definitive proof that the "new" edition was just the old edition with the problems re-numbered. He gave us a conversion sheet that gave us the equivalent problem numbers between the two editions. Not a single problem that was in the new one, wasn't in the old one. And yet the new one cost $150 more.

That and Intro Calc or pretty much any basic math books that come out with new editions. Calculus and pretty much all of basic math was discovered centuries ago, what exactly are you putting in the farking "new" edition?

Text books are something I would happily pirate.


Some of my professors distributed the 'key' between editions. Usually the new edition had a few new problems at the end of each chapter, and some mistakes fixed etc. At least the Calc book got some mileage...I used the same on for three semesters, Calc I - III.
 
2009-11-11 12:14:29 PM  
I was amused when my western civ teachers said it was important to get the right edition of the books we were reading. I'm not paying for PD literature that I'm not reading for my own satisfaction. I had all my books from project gutenberg in less than an hour and spent nothing.

On the other hand, stealing from your local library is more offensive to me than... most things. It is a crime against the public, and everyone suffers because of it. If you go to the library to use the book to avoid buying it, and you can't because a thief sold it to a bookstore, that's just wrong.
 
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