One of the greatest struggles in pursuing a college education is not, as most people would assume, the lectures, studying, and exams. Rather, a large portion of students’ time, stress, research, and money goes into…. textbooks. Yup, I’m talking about those frustratingly long, anxiety-inducing, endless pieces of reading material that are supposed to help students do their best in a given course. However, the greatest problem with textbooks aren’t their lengths but their prices- the College Board estimates that textbooks can cost students as much as $1,200 a year, an unreasonable amount for those who are already paying full tuition. So, how can students get around paying those exorbitant prices for materials that they may no longer need after a 3-month semester?
This idea was met head-on by fellow blogger and reader of our own wonderful establishment, Irene Fenswick of Bournemouth, England. Irene, a freelance writer with a Master’s in English Literature, recently contacted us regarding our January 2015 post on Open Source Textbooks. She commented on the importance of having such information available for students and educators, and then shared with us the following: Since many students are unwilling or unable to pay textbook fees, schools and publishers have begun publishing their content online using open licenses, which means that users across the globe can access textbooks online without having to worry about copyright infringement. Irene, who works as a writer and editor for SmartStudy, a blog that provides resources, writing tips, and career advice for students, decided to take matters into her own hands and compiled a Free Online Textbook Library, comprised of hundreds of textbooks on dozens of subjects. The library is sorted by subject, so books are easy to find and extremely accessible. Not only that, but Irene gave us permission to share her site with all of our readers, so take advantage!
USA Today: CNBC: Cost of college textbooks out of control – by Herb Weisbaum
1,000+ Open Textbooks and Learning Resources for All Subjects – by Irene Fenswick