Thursday, May 30All That Matters

You’re Getting Fucked by College Textbooks


You’re Getting Fucked by College Textbooks




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35 Comments

  • APowerlessManNA

    As someone who is really wants to go to college how/where can i get the textbooks for free online?

    EDIT: Sorry this is late but thanks guys.

  • Wheeeler

    I pirate most of mine and rent the rest from Amazon.

    Don’t feed me any ethical bs either because I got an A in that class with a pirated book.

  • Brokeazzkid

    Ive been using http://gen.lib.rus.ec/ to find my college text books for the last 2 years of my EE program, been able to find 80% of my books on here.

    For the rest that cant be found online, some other students and myself will pitch in for an Amazon rental copy of the book, use some various tools available online (google is your friend) to remove DRM and convert to PDF. Boom, that $200 RF design book is now only $10 each between 10 people (rentals are cheaper)

  • UncleGriswold

    While I ordinarily deplore pirated books, it’s the opposite with the ol’ College Cartel.

    I didn’t have the benefit of pirated books, but seriously, if you guys can get them, go fucking nuts.

    What’s weird is that so many people do not view colleges and universities as businesses in the same way they loo at Walmart and McDonald’s.

    At least McDonald’s gives you a choice – “want fries with that?”

    Colleges/Universities don’t give you the option – “buy this fucking overpriced, bloated book or you don’t pass and we keep your tuition.”

  • AstroFace

    You can buy international versions of the books online for much, much cheaper. They tend to be paperback and not built as well though.

  • ThePeoplesBard

    No I’m not. Because I don’t buy them.

    The first thing I tell people who are about to go to college is don’t buy the textbooks before classes start. After a week in, you’ll discover how many will actually be used (many that are bought never get opened) and how many of those can be found in a library or for free online. I think there was *one* book I needed for a Logic course–it had exercises in it that were graded–but I got two guys in the class to split the cost with me and we just took turns having it.

  • FuckKU91

    I had a 2 college professors that did something different that I really liked. For both English comp 2 and a History of medicine they “had” a required textbook, but would email the class before the semester saying not to buy it. Instead we bought nonfiction books/DVDs that were in line with the material and used them instead. They were all cheap too, and each class probably only required $30 worth of materials, and we actually covered them really well. It’s crazy to me that you can get 3 or 4 historical nonfiction books for like 5 dollars a piece, but a textbook, which essentially covered the same thing but was simply a much more technically written piece, was $200+. Also they were all short so you could sit down over a couple days, read the entire thing and keep notes going instead of a textbook which gives you so much needless BS that you learn but never use. Also it helps when the English teacher is a film buff and uses it to relate ideas to the students. I really enjoyed those classes, which as a Biochemistry major was a new feeling, because I hated almost every non-major/science class I had. So much useless dribble.

  • MoistCr1TiKaL

    Hello, a few people have mentioned the “buy-back” option most universities offer. While in theory it is a good idea, in practice, it is more the university spitting in your face. In my freshmen year, I tried to sell back the books I bought and found out they only buy back a small number of textbooks and the ones they did buy back, they only paid 5-15$ for. So the new textbook which cost over 200$, they would buy back for less than 20$.

    Also, as far as renting books go, UT fucked you hard there too. The cost of a rented book was, on average, 25-30$ cheaper than just buying it new and basically cost the same as buying it used.

  • Carney9

    There should be a class action lawsuit against any college that has ever required a specific book that makes it impossible to sell the book once the class is over. Add to that, a requirement for all publishing companies to buy back the most recent, previous version of the book for 6 months after they publish a new version.

  • [deleted]

    My teachers wouldnt even let us pirate the books. And to ensure this, they put a few questions on tests where you needed the book for the tables and charts just to fuck us.

  • Gaming_Loser

    I worked for Mcgraw-Hill text books for 3 years. I can tell you how ALL this works.

    1. Salespeople are encouraged to do whatever it takes to get contracts with a college(I will get to that). Salespeople have their asses kissed and make HUGE commissions. If we were contacted by a sales person we were told to give them whatever they wanted. No matter what. Most of the time it was totally unreasonable. I have heard sales people GLOAT how they took whole universities for a ride on their agreements. It was celebrated when students got fucked with 200% text book increases.

    2. The school signs a multi year contract with the publisher. They get a kickback on all sales. Textbooks are like the concessions from movie theaters for schools. Many times these contracts are very bad for the school and they cannot get out of them. They also have provisions that REQUIRE the school to charge more and more for a book every year. Some contracts force schools to get the newest edition, no matter what. Many times these school officials are wined and dined to make these agreements.

    3. Schools FORCE many teachers to have to use the newest edition of the text book. Many times this is in the school’s and teacher’s contract. The teachers whom I have spoken to who use old texts, are usually tenured teachers who can tell the school to fuck off. Their are also teachers who get a kickback for forcing the students to get a new text. Many of these teachers are from the low pay for profit schools. A teacher can make upwards of an extra 25K for forcing the new text down student’s throats. (depending on class size, text, etc)

    4. Digital books are a scam. I helped work on the digital migration of text books about 6-7 years ago. The profits are HUGE. Ever notice you almost NEVER get a digital copy of a physical text? Ever notice AMAZON seems to have high prices? Many schools fought digital books (some still are) but the ones who have not are raking in the dough. NEVER buy a digital version of a text book. It most likely expires, has drm or cannot be copied or transferred.

    5. The big one. The texts almost never change. I have seen 10th editions of books be the same as 1st. The authors of these books are lazy as fuck. They may change or update a few things, but it is rare. They are NOT required to make significant changes to a text. Think about it. Does a Calculus book really need updating? How about Early American history? Geology? So they don’t. I have even seen 5 editions of a book that the only difference is they printed a new cover!

    I totally support pirating, renting and trading of text books. My advice if you have a teacher who is militant about text books, is to get out of their class. They only care about kick backs and not about educating you. Most schools cannot kick you out of a class for not having the text. Many teachers do not even use the texts for their tests. Many teachers are lazy as well. They only want the cartridges (test materials) so they can ez-mode preparing for classes. Basically they can copy/paste the entire class into whatever they want. Their are alot more greedy schools, teachers and publishers out there than you think. Luckily I no longer go to college or work at this place.

    None of this will change. Why? Because students move on from college and do nothing to help the students behind them. IT is like “I got fucked, so you should to ” mentality. The school officials and teachers are bought and paid for ( a dirty secret many of them rarely discuss). By the time a new student realizes they are getting scammed it is at the end of their junior year. By then they just want to get the fuck out of the shitty college system we have. So the cycle continues.

  • junkermunker22

    Up here in Canada they came up with something even more evil. They’ve started putting codes in textbooks that are single-use and allow you to register with online learning centres. This means most of my courses had around a 20% portion or more that you could not makeup in any way unless you purchased and new textbook from the store. I am fairly certain this was done in order to combat piracy however it also completely destroyed the used Market. As soon as you use a textbook it is absolute garbage and no one else can use it. So I took that hit as well and got shit marks because I’m not falling for that bulshit.

  • loru_90

    i worked at a college bookstore for bout 5-6 years before it went out of business earlier and i couldn’t agree more with the video. McGraw-Hill and Pearson (among others) are absolute SCUM for the conniving way they earned their profits. any teacher who gets commission on books from these large publishers are just as guilty IMO.
    teachers should write their own books…why not?
    it would only deepen their knowledge of the subject, editing and improvement of the book would be much more streamlined, and
    dont they get shit for pay? a solid way to earn some extra income
    and students will stop getting raped.

    teachers need to step up and be a voice for the students and all students can do is refuse to buy the newest edition

  • logicblocks

    A friend of mine used to buy his books from the gray market on ebay. Books get shipped from India and Pakistan. They are usually sold by the same editors at a fraction of the price with the mention “Cannot be sold outside of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh Bla Bla Bla”.

  • xLale

    Can someone please explain to me why not having the right edition would hurt your grade? I understand the whole “business” (ripoff) part of the textbooks but how do these universities enforce the need for you to have the book? and even hurt your grades? Is the point of going to school not to be educated? Shit I went to university in Peru and I now live in the US, most of the time professors would sell us their $7 books (20 of our currency) and if we couldnt afford it he would even have people group up and buy 1 copy of the book together then just photocopy it for the rest of the group, the point of having the book was to get the information in it

  • Jake_of_Spades

    US universities really screw over you guys, i’m in my 3rd year at the UK and we have a recommend reading list which you don’t need to pass any exams and only really come in use for coursework.

    Also any books on the reading list are available in the library, and if they run out the university offers free access to online versions of them which we can access from off campus.

  • Iminurcomputer

    I was so shocked that my classmate were so shocked I never bought a textbook. “Well what do you do?” I look it the fuck up. It’s biology. It’s not like the human heart has changed in the last year. The fuckin sodium potassium pump has worked the same way since the dawn of time. There is no information in a textbook that isn’t available elsewhere.

  • The_OG_Luigi

    When I went to college from ’08 to ’12 the college library had a machine called the “Bookeye” which scanned books and let you save them as image or pdf files. The professors would have a copy or copies of the required textbooks (and if they didn’t you can ask them to put one on reserve) in the library and you could simply check them out for a time limit of 2 hours. I would get the book and head for the machine. It would take me 30 minutes to scan an entire book and then I found the “turbo” scan option it would take like 10 minutes to do 400+ pages. I would simply put the book down, hit a button, turn the page, hit a button, turn; you get into a rhythm. Decided not to buy a single book, too expensive. (At the time I didn’t even pay to park on campus. I asked a nearby business if I could use their parking lot for the next 4 years, as a joke, and they said yes. So I would just skateboard to class from there. Anyways, I digress…) When I found out how easy it was to use this machine I told a lot of people about it and well, that machine became so popular over the next 4 years that there was always a line, so I would have to go in the late hours to scan my books. I also made sure the professor didn’t mind myself having my laptop open all throughout class and even showed them how I had my books digitally on my computer. I still have the books on my computer ’til this day. Not to mention saved my back from all the stress of having 5 or more books in my backpack. Definitely a great option and free. Of course, I never tried to sell them or distribute the copies I had made to other classmates as I wasn’t sure of the legality but for personal use it’s definitely legal. Anyways, that ends my rant.

    TL;DR University libraries have high tech book scanning machines. Use them to scan the books and carry them around on your preferred electronic device, computer, e-reader, phone, etc.

  • [deleted]

    “… actually I graduated a month ago, and in this time (one month) I have been able to mature. College textbooks can gobble my ducking scrotum.”

  • nomoobs1

    This guy mentions the little breakthroughs in kinesiology and how that does not justify a new edition. What about new editions of Physics books which are based on Classical/newtonian physics. LOL whut the fuck!?!?!?!?

    or the manufacturing book that the prof. said we needed the lastest cuse of the new or diffrent questions he assigned from out of the book.. That fucking douchebag gave and has been giving the same questions from out of the book for the last few years and they were no different, expect for a couple with the numbers switched.

  • [deleted]

    I learned a trade fresh out of high school and run my own business now. The more shit I see about stuff like this and hear about so many friends I have being in student loan debt, the more I am convinced that post-secondary academic education is all just an elaborate scam propelled by them perpetuating the idea of “you need a formal, expensive post-secondary education to be successful in life!!!”

    No you don’t. You can learn a trade and still make very good money and someday even own your own business. The academic establishment doesn’t want you to realize this though, because if everyone did, they’d all be out of their tons of money they strangle young adults into debt for and we’d all be trades people, in a nation of builders and manufacturers, like what made America great when your grandparents were young.

    I am not saying “fuck school” so don’t get me wrong. I am just saying the greed and bullshit debt makes post secondary education look worse than a crooked loan shark.

    They got a great racket going though. Tie every new young generation down with retarded debt that becomes a shackle for half your adult life as they manipulate and connive society into believing that way is the ONLY WAY to become successful. They even begin to drill it into your head as early as primary school!

  • [deleted]

    Students need to fight this with organized piracy. Set up a Facebook page or Subreddit specific to each university. Get as many students as you can to pool money to buy one book, scan it and deliver the digital copies to the class.

  • Jabonte

    Fucking online access codes. I managed to rent my books off amazon and book renter, but that’s not good enough. I had to spend 90 fucking dollars for the access code. 90 goddamned dollars. Just to read the same fucking thing I just paid for, but on my laptop.

    Fuck you, McGraw Hill.

  • ILikeToShitPostALot

    This is the same model gamestop uses and it’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s how professors and the school make money. Schools are a FOR PROFIT BUSINESS ( most of them anyway), in most other countries, education is free.

    Our education system is broken, and yes, people do come here to become doctors etc, people also go overseas to learn as well.

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