Are "Customized" Textbooks A Scam?

NPR takes a look at the growing popularity of “customized” college textbooks—textbooks that have pieces from different books sewn together, usually with a chapter or two by the professor teaching the class.

The books generally can’t be sold back to the college bookstore, nor can the student choose to buy them at another store. Professors who contribute chapters to the books are paid royalties. Is this a conflict of interest?

NPR interviewed one instructor who was in favor of “customized” textbooks. She said she had no problem requiring students to keep their textbooks, even after graduation. “Students have to trust us, they have to trust us that when we say, um, keep this textbook on your shelf, you’re going to need it. I have no problem requiring students to keep those textbooks,” she said.

That reminds us, we totally needed to go back and consult Architecture Theory since 1968, the other day. Oh wait, no. We did not.

Book Buying Among College Practices Under Scrutiny [NPR]

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