From the time I started teaching at university in 1984, I never once recommended a textbook.
Tim Wu of The New York Times writes that as the semester ends, instructors at universities and community colleges around the country will begin placing their orders for next year’s textbooks. But not all professors will pay enough attention to something that students complain about: the outlandish prices of the books we assign. Having grown at many times the rate of inflation, the cost of a leading economics book can be over $250; a law school casebook plus supplement can cost $277. Adding to such prices is the dubious trend of requiring students to obtain digital access codes, averaging $100, to complete homework assignments.
Professors love tough questions. Here’s one we need ask ourselves: Are we helping rip off our students?