Report chides publishers for textbook policies

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The fall rush to buy textbooks is over, but a campaign led by the State Public Interest Research Groups to rally against the practices of the college textbook publishing industry is not.

In a report released today that is largely a summary of previous findings, PIRG accuses publishers of undermining the used book market and unnecessarily inflating prices. Studies show that the cost of textbooks is rising faster than the rate of inflation, and the price issue has gained traction with at least one lawmaker this year.

“Required Reading: A Look at the Worst Publishing Tactics at Work,” and a preceding report, released in August, are part of the Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign. The latest report draws on anecdotal information from bookstore managers and faculty members across the country, and includes examples (identifying colleges, publisher names and book titles) of practices that PIRG says drive up textbook costs for students.

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