To buy or not to buy: Textbooks might not be needed

Are textbooks really needed in the classroom anymore?

19-7-TextbooksOlivia Inglin



At the end of one quarter and the beginning of another, hallways buzz with questions about textbooks. Many students want to know where to buy books, who is selling books and, most importantly, if they actually need a textbook.

When a student searches for textbooks on the Pierce College bookstore website, some are required, and others are recommended. Nevertheless, several professors require a textbook for their classes, but students don’t use the textbook enough to offset the cost.

As textbooks are expensive, it’s important to students to only buy the necessary textbooks.

“I don’t even remember buying the book for (Chris) Vanneson’s class; everyone told me I wouldn’t need it,” Running Start student Issacc Armitage said. “I used his packet, but that was it.”

Several on-campus students said they never used their required textbooks in classes with subjects such as history, English and music appreciation.

Often, students will do what they can to save money, which includes not buying books they feel they don’t need even if supposedly required. Finding out whether a book is really needed or not is not always simple, and this is why many rely on opinions of other students.

It’s not only students who try to avoid spending money on books, though; many professors try to make classes as inexpensive as possible. They allow students to use old editions of books or use inexpensive books in their courses.

English professor Kristina Young has taken this one step further.

Multiple times she has had no required textbooks for her classes. Instead, she compiles a group of online texts that students use for free.

“I’ve done a couple classes that way and continue to do so,” Young said.

Young feels that these online texts work just as well as books, and she is not the only professor on campus using the system.

Overall, finding out whether a textbook is truly required isn’t as simple as it seems, yet many students find out how the longer they are in school.


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To buy or not to buy: Textbooks might not be needed

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