Are college textbooks expensive? Yes. Are they heavy and annoying to lug around to class everyday? Yes. Should we do away with them? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure.
Buying books is a hassle. If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a new edition of the textbook, then you have to pay the price for a new textbook. If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not, then you just have to make sure that you get the correct edition, and if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re buying a used book, hope that the person who had the book before you was smart. Then thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s selling the book back. When you go to sell your basic history textbook (the one your professor told you that you had to get it, but also the one you never even opened), it will sell for half the price you paid, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re lucky.
With all that hassle, it just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem worth it. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think, however, that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m ready to go to a web-based textbook. Yes, it will be cheaper and lighter, but I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to physically touch the book. That sounds like a silly statement, but, as a mathematics education major, I learn much better by jotting notes or diagrams in the margins of my math textbooks. Since I do love working out math problems on paper rather than with technology, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a little more biased towards the hard copy textbook. Also, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m really not a fan of staring at a computer screen for hours. Not that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a fan of staring at a textbook for hours, but if I have to stare at something for hours, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rather it be a textbook than a computer screen.
Chegg has a decent idea to attack this problem, by renting out textbooks. The cost would be much lower, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a hard copy textbook, but there would be no
opportunity to get any cash back at the end of the semester since the only options you would have are to buy the book or return it for free. It solves that financial end of the problem but not the
physical effort issue. I can see why going web-based is a good idea, I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m ready to go there yet.