Textbooks for rent… or buy

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By Adrian Pascua

By Adrian Pascua

The cost of textbooks has been rising for the last 20 years. In our parents’ days, it cost an arm to buy textbooks. Now there’s a leg involved, too.

This goes without saying: here at Riverside City College, the cost of textbooks has become ridiculously expensive. We now pay more for textbooks than we do for school. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we all come to RCC because it was cheaper and was supposed to save us money in the long run?

Two bills passed by California lawmakers have the answer to the prayers of college students everywhere; well, at least in California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been prompt to sign the two bills, which have been dubbed as the Textbook Affordability Act and the College Textbook Transparency Act.

The textbooks we buy for our classes are assigned to us by our instructors, which means we are forced to buy the more expensive book even though there are cheaper books right next to it.

We hate having to buy books. We spend entire pay checks just so we can make the effort in our education to better ourselves. It’s amazing sometimes how much we have to put up with just because we’re students.

One of the plans, the Textbook Affordability Act, allows students to rent textbooks.

This is a swell idea, if all the students could have books at one time, but most good ideas have a drawback.

For example, when people can rent books, no one wants to buy them. When they run out of books to rent, the only other option people have is to buy a book.

Those who really can’t afford to buy books would be the ones to get the shaft.

If these bills pass, then we might be able to buy books, without having to go on a diet due to the fact we’re so broke that we can’t afford food.

One of the weaknesses of the Transparency Act is that it won’t go into effect until 2010, hopefully and unfortunately, when most of us are done here at RCC.

While on the other hand the Textbook Affordability Act would go into effect almost immediately if the bill was made into a law.

While some still disagree with the bills, saying that they are full of holes due to the fact it would take textbook publishers three years to reprint and remake the textbooks, we already use and hardly ever change anyway.

On a lighter note, according to the Transparency Act, university instructors can’t “demand or receive anything of value, including the deposit of money, present or promised, for adopting specific course material.”

Translation: instructors are not allowed to take bribes from publishers at all.

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