College textbooks are so expensive that many students can't afford them and are left to fight over the handful of copies kept in the library's reserve. Those books usually can't be checked out for more than a couple hours at a time, and there's never a guarantee that a book you need will be there when you need it — especially when there's a midterm or final on the horizon and everyone wants to get their hands on it.
There's pressure on Congress to pass a measure that would make college textbooks more affordable and help the mounting costs of higher education. According to the New York Times, a bill that's in the works would help students decide if a book is worth its cost and would tackle the overall problem by addressing the following issues.
- Publishers would be required tell faculty how much their choices for textbooks will really cost the students, so they can make more reasonable selections with more knowledge about prices.
- The bill would require publishers to “unbundle” textbooks so that the extra CDs and manuals wouldn't automatically come with the purchase of books. These extras are often unnecessary and go untouched, making them a waste of money.
- Schools would be required to provide a list of required and recommended books enough in advance for students to find the best deals online or in used bookstores.