Students look for new ways to buy textbooks

The AACC Bookstore is a beacon for students during the first two weeks of classes.

“I waited in line for what felt like hours” last semester, second-year transfer studies major Tia Aponte said. “I didn’t even use half the books I bought.”

However, Aponte said that’s not the worst part. When it came time to sell her books back to the bookstore, newer editions of the texts had made hers worthless.

“It’s not worth it; I don’t even buy books anymore,” Aponte said.

In an informal poll of 10 students, all admitted to purchasing textbooks, but not reading them.
Most of those students bought their textbooks from the bookstore, and one bought books online.

The College Board found in August that the average college student spends up to $1,200 on textbooks and supplies a year.

However, in the campus poll, the students said they spend between $80 and $900 on textbooks and supplies.
AACC students are losing interest in reading their textbooks and some are seeking cheaper alternatives.

“There’s alternatives,” second-year chemistry major Lea Raffitt said. “You can usually find them cheaper online like [at] Chegg.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of textbooks increased 88 percent since 2006.

“[When I was in college] I paid $50 for a textbook that would be $80 now, but it’s all relative to income and current inflation,” AACC Bookstore Manager Christopher Wirth said.

Wirth said AACC has a policy requiring a textbook for every course.

Professors said they consider both content and affordability when they choose textbooks for their courses.

“I design my [student] outlines right along with the textbook,” psychology professor Diane Smith said. “I would like for my students to have [textbooks] with them.”

Wirth said he understands some students struggle to pay.

“When students are in positions where your income is relative to your expenses, it can be a burden,” Wirth said.

“Let’s face it, when you buy a textbook you’re not buying something you chose to read; it’s something you’re required to read. If you have to pay $200 for a book and you’re a student, you got to weigh your [expenses].”