Underused and Overpriced

Photo Credit / Kelly Dildine
Photo Credit / Kelly Dildine

Sc Staff Writer

As a senior at ESU, I’ve probably spent around $1,700 dollars on textbooks for my undergraduate career. That’s by renting, and if I really have to, sometimes buying the cheapest version possible. For some the number may be tripled or even lower.

Some students gave up buying textbooks after sophomore year, but I’ve never been that kind of risk-taker. Others have mastered the E-Z borrowing system at Kemp Library that allows you to have books for pretty much a whole semester at no cost. As alarming as the grand total may be, that is only a factor playing into the other issues with textbooks students have come to find.

We’re not using them.

From experience, each semester I choose to decorate my book-shelf with five or six books that maintain a permanent residence until it’s time to ship them back to some warehouse down south. For the first week or so, I crack them open just to say I’ve seen the inside.

They travel with me to classes, if required, and then quietly find their way under my bed or in my desk drawer for months on end.

Our textbooks are replaced with power-point lectures, in-class lectures, or other materials provided. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve never read from my books. However, I am saying that sometimes these required books are forgotten with all the other ways of exchanging information.

For me, I’m a fan of uploaded power-points, interactive class lectures and texts that are relevant to the class.  I just wish these books weren’t so expensive and always a requirement.

Not using our textbooks probably makes us look like some lazy, non-committed students. That isn’t it. When you’re a student, not only do you want to free your wallet, but you also try to find the short-cut to everything. If I’m being tested on the class lectures, I’m not going to read my textbook in my free time. Students balance courses, jobs, internships, clubs, and dozens of other responsibilities each day.

To clear the record, in my experience, there have been textbooks that I have not only used, but kept for future reference. If used correctly, textbooks can enhance lectures and serve as more than a paperweight.

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