Why Textbooks Shouldn't Be A Thing

Raise your hand if you’ve ever purchased a textbook and didn’t get your money’s worth. After buying textbooks last semester and literally not using them once, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t purchase “required” textbooks ever again. Well, I did, because my teachers gave me the “We will actually be using this textbook,” spiel. Ironically, I bought two that I didn’t use at all, and didn’t buy the two which I ended up needing a lot (I borrowed my friend’s for the whole semester, thank you friend). So here’s the thing: I’m sick of buying textbooks and watching money go down the drain for no reason. If a teacher wants to utilize a textbook, fine, but it should be under these circumstances: Either (multiple copies of) the book are available on reserve in the library for students to use, or we have free access to an online version. That’s right, textbooks should be free for students. Students who are already struggling to make ends meet paying for tuition can’t afford to scrounge up dough for textbooks which may or may not even be necessary.

Besides the fact that I don’t want to waste my money, there are other reasons, too. When there’s no online option available, textbooks are just a waste of paper. There are certain ones that don’t give the option of renting, so you’re forced to spend a boat load and it increases production of more copies. This isn’t good for the environment, or anybody’s wallet. With every college student’s access to the internet- whether they have their own computer or use their school’s library- it’s so easy to make textbooks available. Without the cost of physical production, online textbooks are cheaper and could be affordable for the school to pay for for their students. There should be some sort of way for students to have access to designated online textbooks during the time that they’re enrolled in specific classes and the fee for them should be part of what tuition pays for.

Students don’t like textbooks. We don’t like using them and we don’t like paying for them, and this only adds to a negative school environment. So teachers, please don’t assign textbooks, unless you want to pay for them yourselves.