Skyrocketing Text Book Prices

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Inside the Sacramento State bookstore – business major Liam Trujillo is waiting in line to buy several textbooks.

He says the recent report - by the federal Government Accountability Office - isn’t news to him. "Over the years they definitely have gone up. The books are required so I really don’t have any choice in the matter. I have to put off some things that I would like to buy. You know, I just have to bite the bullet."

Merriah Fairchild with the consumer group CALPIRG says textbook publishers are driving up costs by unnecessarily printing new editions and extra materials like C-D ROMS. "We have found that the publishers use gimmicks to artificially increase the price of textbooks."

Liberal Studies major Todd Braganier says even used books are hard to come by. "I think it’s got to be regulated to some extent because you buy a book, you try and sell it to somebody and they come with a new edition the next year so therefore those people have to buy a new book and you can’t sell your book back. I think that’s kind of a crock."

Publishers say they price books at what the market will bear.

In the meantime, consumer advocates say students can find cheaper textbooks on various British web sites.