Regarding your article “Textbook trade: Colleges seek ways to make textbooks affordable,” one additional way to reduce book costs dramatically is for students to purchase older textbook editions from websites such as, or the many others textbook-selling sites that are available.

For as little as $15 or $20, you can often find older editions of textbooks with current edition price tags ten times that much, despite the fact that the newest version features only the slightest changes. I recommend that students email their future instructors before the semester starts just to double check that older edition is acceptable (in many cases, they are). I also encourage college instructors to let their students know, through the course website or on the first day of class, that this is an option. With a little bit of resourcefulness, you’ll find many textbooks are not just affordable, they’re downright cheap.

John Giglio


The writer is an adjunct faculty member, Heartland Community College.

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