Textbook ripoff

Today, I drove to Crookston to pick up the textbook for the history class I will be teaching this fall. It is the same text as I used two years ago, but of course they put out a new edition--the eighth--which forces students to purchase a new book for $59 (paperback) rather than using an old one that their friends might have passed down to them.

I looked through the two editions side-by-side. The changes were superficial. The page numbers were different in the new edition, which means I have to re-write the syllabus. On, and the caption under Martin Van Buren's picture was changed. There were words added. Unfortunately, when they added the new words, they forgot to take out the old ones--so the caption makes no sense in the new edition while it was just fine in the old.

Infuriating. Students should rebel. The "new edition" scam is simply another way to rip students off. One student I know paid $800 for textbooks last semester, only to find that about half of them weren't used in class. Apparently the professor just thought they might be a nice addition to the library of the students.