Man To Run NYC Marathon Carrying Textbooks To Protest High Cost Of College Texts

We know how much our readers hate expensive textbooks, so meet Andre Ditto, the 47 year-old vegan personal trainer who is going to run the NYC marathon carrying 30lbs of textbooks both to protest the high cost of college textbooks and as a promotion for ebook retailer CaféScribe.

In return, CaféScribe will be paying for Mr. Ditto’s daughter’s textbooks for a year. We’ve always considered running marathons to be insane behavior (even without carrying a backpack full of books) but Andre is confident that he can do it.

According to the press release that came sailing into our inbox, Andre will be carrying (among others) the world’s heaviest textbook: Art History by Marilyn Stokstad. We have a degree in Art History. Good luck, Andre. You’re going to need it to defeat Stokstad.

(Photo: Susannah Dambmann)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mandarin says:

    Thats a ‘Vegan Personal Trainer’ ????
    What vegetables does he eat or personal training does he do?

  2. Electroqueen says:

    I really wish him good luck, cause my Econ textbook has no glued spine! But I wonder will it make a difference?

  3. scoopy says:

    I am going to drive the marathon to protest the high price of gas.

  4. extracrispy says:

    Just FYI: There are numerous people who do way kookier stuff than this during marathons. There’s usually some asshole running backwards. Occasionally, there are a couple of dudes running in a cow costume. And there’s always a guy who juggles the entire way. I know because that fucker passed me in the Chicago marathon. I got beat by a fuckin’ juggler.

  5. legotech says:

    @mandarin: He trains the vegetables…or he only trains vegans, I’m not sure which.

  6. joeblevins says:

    …and as a promotion for ebook retailer CaféScribe.

    No. He is doing this as a paid promotion for CafeScribe. He is getting paid to be an attention whore. End of story.

  7. skittlbrau says:

    @eslaydog: Did you see Mr. Testicles? I got beat by a pair of running nuts, if it makes you feel any better.

  8. scoopy says:

    @joeblevins: Your’re right, this is a non-story. Next Consuemrist post: Guy dresses up as a Weinersnitzel Brand Hot Dog to protest the high price of other brands’ hot dogs.

  9. Erskine says:

    Wow, I’ve heard of pointless exercises but Damn!

  10. GitEmSteveDave says:

    “No Dead Trees”

    But there will be CO2/soot/waste from the power plants to power the computer you use and the server they host on.

    Then there’s the amount of nasty things that reside in your computer hardware.

    And don’t get me started on the laptop batteries.

  11. othium says:

    Agree with the above comments. It’s a promotion for some website. Nothing much else.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    Good luck to him, but this isn’t a protest. It’s a paid advertisement.

  13. scoopy says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Don’t get me started on Prius batteries.

  14. i love how he is trying to look superman-esque in that picture.

    saving the world from heavy texts, one paid advertisement at a time!!

  15. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @mandarin: Fried okra, fried squash, fried zucchini, fried eggplant…

  16. @public enemy #1: mmm…fried…

  17. Trowble (XBL/PSN) says:

    I hope he makes a run around my campus at Pace around City Hall today. Something to watch during my break.

  18. remedies says:

    I got beat by a fuckin’ juggler.

    @extracrispy: i have nothing to add, except that if this were digg, i’d totally up that comment.

  19. remedies says:

    @remedies: oh man, the grammar. *was

  20. toolverine says:

    I actually used that book in a couple of art history classes. It is a freaking monster. I consider myself luck that I didn’t have to bring it to class.

  21. lincolnparadox says:

    Textbooks in university bookstores have a 25% markup from retail price. That’s industry standard. Buying your books on amazon, or even special ordering at Borders would always be cheaper.

    My rule of thumb is, always buy early and buy used. Never, ever buy from the university store.

  22. Beerad says:

    @remedies: No, you’re right. That’s the proper use of “were” in the subjunctive mood.

  23. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I agree, this isn’t a protest. It’s a publicity stunt.

    If you really want to protest, buy used textbooks from Amazon Marketplace,, and other similar sites. Or you can just buy the textbook, photocopy/scan the pages you need, and then return the book. Yes, I know it’s copyright infringement and unethical. But is it really ethical to charge $100 for a 50 page textbook that will be almost worthless next year when the “newer edition” comes out?

  24. UpsetPanda says:

    I always wondered why my university kept bringing in new math books when math has been more or less the same for the last X amount of years! Yeah the examples may be out of date, and the photos might be hilariously outdated, but the meat of it is still the same. No I will not pay $70 for a new edition, the past 10 editions have been alike!

  25. vanilla-fro says:

    I don’t think that guy can make it….

    I thought vegans were skinny and sickly looking. Guess he eats a bunch of avacado

  26. joemono says:

    What does this guy being vegan have to do with anything?

  27. stubblyhead says:

    there are fat vegans? wonders never cease.

  28. Erskine says:


    I try to eat vegetarian, but they have too many laws against cannibalism here…

  29. rptrcub says:

    @joemono: Some folks assume “vegan=crazy.” That’s all. Personally I don’t. Some are cool; some are self-righteous.

  30. TechnoDestructo says:


    Hey, there’s plenty of things you can deep-fry and still have it be vegan.


    Ever had deep-fried avocado? Mmmmmmmmmmm.

    And looks can be deceiving with regard to fitness. The guy obviously thinks he can run a marathon…and he’s big enough that 30 pounds probably won’t make much of a difference.

    He could probably break 9 out of 10 posters here in half without breaking a sweat.

  31. remedies says:

    @Beerad: me fail english? that’s unpossible! :)

  32. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    I’m from the Deep South (capital D, capital S), so I’m no stranger to fried foods. Jeez, we’d eat rocks if they were deep fried.

    A couple of weekends ago, I tried deep fried artichoke hearts for the first time. Oh-so-yummy. But I suppose the liberal sprinkling of Parmesan cheese made them not-so-vegan.

  33. threlkelded says:

    So just for the record, that Art History book weighs 11 pounds.

  34. mattbrown says:

    i like the “no dead trees.”

  35. Vegconsumer says:

    Of course there are fat vegans! I think some people don’t truly know what “vegan” means. All it means diet-wise is no animal products or byproducts. Once you figure out what that actually means is “left”, it’s the majority of food that exists.

    Sure, a lot of vegans try to eat healthily, but there is so much vegan junk food as well. Depending on where you go, you can find all sorts of junk food. I’m average build and I have been vegan 5 years. There are all sorts of body types and preferences for every lifestyle and “diet” (though to be fair, for most vegans, it’s not a diet)

  36. Robobot says:

    Art history books are killers. I started my art history odyssey in high school with Gardner’s Art Through the Ages and an old copy of Jansons. Ow.

    I’m a big fan of bypassing the campus Follet, (They’ve scammed me out of hundreds of dollars) but now I know I’m never going to use CaféScribe. This is lame marketing. has become my favorite.