Organizations promote awareness of high-priced textbooks

By Ross Hettel

Two larger-than-life textbooks – one a superhero and one a fat-cat executive – will take over from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the MLK Commons.

The two are costumed characters from Textbook Rebellion, a collection of organizations working to promote awareness about ever-increasing textbook prices, according to its website,

Textbook Rebellion is a movement of students, parents, professors and organizations working together to lower the price of textbooks and provide reasonable alternatives for students and universities.

One of the organizations included, Student Product Research Interest Group, will host a demonstration and petition-signing campaign today.

Steven Duda, PIRG field manager and sophomore biology major, said PIRG is a group of students who work to protect students’ interests from the government and corporations.

Duda said PIRG tries to bring awareness to both students and teachers about textbook prices.

“In the past, [publishers] wouldn’t say the prices and keep teachers in the dark [to] possibly pick the more expensive ones,” Duda said.

Many students are in favor of reducing costs and some teachers are supportive as well.

“I’m aware that textbook prices can be a hurdle for students,” said Caleb Lewis, graduate student and teaching assistant instructor for economics. “I use an older editions in my class to keep students from paying for what can be trivial revisions.”

Lewis predicted that in the future, high prices will be curbed by an increase in digital textbooks.

“Online textbooks and renting programs will be the way around the issue, and what I expect to be more prominent in the future,” Lewis said.

Editor’s note: Staff Writer Brittany McDermott contributed to this article.