Why textbook prices are on the rise and what it means for YOU

Why textbook prices are on the rise and what it means for YOU


Each year College Board comes out with breakdowns of the costs of college including, room and board, tuition, and the focus of this article: textbooks. Textbook prices are on the rise, and I am out to figure out the reasoning behind this. According to the National Association of College Stores, in 2007 textbooks costed $57, on average. By 2013, the average textbook cost rose to almost $80.

The image below is a graph published by College Board to represent average "textbook" prices. It is based on data collected through the annual financial survey of college stores.

So, why is the happening?

For starters, what do we define as a textbook? College stores define a "textbook" as
any book or other media that is required or recommended for class." While, English majors often require novels rather than the standard textbook. Novels required for English courses will usually cost under $10 each, while a standard textbook can cost over $100. If English classes are requiring less novels than they used to, this would bring up the cost of the average textbook. Furthermore, as technology increases professors are requiring students to purchases access codes for online textbook resources when they buy their textbooks. These access codes raise the prices the textbook significantly. So, this increase in the cost of the average textbook may be skewed information. Perhaps it is not that textbook prices are increasing, but that different "textbooks" are now required.

Another reason for the rise in textbook prices could be due to an increase in the price of resources needed to produce textbooks. These resources include paper, ink, authors, printing machines, publishers, and more. Digging a little deeper, paper is made from wood pulp. In a recent article, IBISWorld concluded that the price of paper has in fact risen because the price of wood pulp is on the rise. In 2015, global wood pulp prices surpassed its previous peak cost, which was in 2011. Not only does this increase the cost of manufacturing textbooks, but also the cost of manufacturing the packaging to ship textbooks, increasing textbook production costs from multiple angles. These production costs then get passed on to consumers.

Of course, consumers want the best deal, and this often means buying from third parties, such as Amazon or Chegg, rather than the college bookstore. College bookstore owners know this, and need to prepare not to sell their full supply. Thus, they increase the price of textbooks, so that when textbooks are left unsold the store does not lose money. From an economic perspective, this is the class supply and demand curve. As demand from the bookstore decreases, supply increases, and thus so does the average price.

What does this mean for consumers? Well, if all consumers banned together and bought books from the college bookstore rather than third party sites, prices for textbooks might decrease, but the prices might decrease to the same price the third party sites are already offering, and it is highly unlikely that all consumers will agree to this. It really means that, yes, you will have to continue to be stealthy when purchasing your books because a lot of variables go into the price of your textbook.

Cover Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To My Little Sister, Don't Wish For Time To Move Faster, Soak Up The Stage Of Life You're In

Live in the moment and you will come out having no regrets.


To my best friend,

Time goes by quickly, do not wish it away. Enjoy living in the moment you are in right now because you will never get it back. Stop wishing you were in college already because you have so much to live for right now.

I know all you want to do is get away from home and start over, which is normal because I wanted to do the same thing at your age. But as your older sister, and as someone who has gone through that stage already, I am here to tell you that it is not all rainbows and sunshine 24/7.

With the time you have left in high school, enjoy every second of it because eventually, you will come to miss it.

Graduation is just around the corner for you and it honestly freaks me out how fast time is going. And it only goes faster in college. As kids, all we wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive on our own and once we hit high school, all we want is to be in college. With almost being in college for two years, I can easily say that all I want is to be a kid again. We have been wishing our whole lives away since we can remember. Enjoy today.

I see so much potential in you and I am beyond excited for what the future has in store for you.

Many times, you have been the one to give me advice even though I'm the older sister and this shows how caring and loving you are. Life is going to treat you so well and it already has.

There is one piece of advice I must give to you though. Make sure to thank mom and dad and tell them you love them as often as possible. I know they can get on your nerves and may make you angry at times, but they have given us the best life. You will learn in college just how much they love us and how much they have given up just to make us happy.

You have a good head on your shoulders and I know life is going to turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Just don't wish it all away. Some of my favorite times were when I was a senior in high school.

I'm always looking out for you so don't ever think you are alone in this crazy world. Remember, I am just one phone call away.

I love you so much sis, you got this.

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