Yes, One of the reasons they should be free is because they are over priced, unpaid back when the student sells back the book and the overly price for a used copy. Not saying that all books sold back are 100% perfect condition but still one time I remember I bought a book for around $250.00 new , sold it back then saw my book (tiny doodle in the corner that no one noticed) and a price tag that said $245.00 used. Books should be free!
Of course it depends on the subject but textbooks definitely should be free. If not should not be a specific brand and edition as a pay wall for grades.
I'm gonna assume this is undergrad, but
Most content has not changed for like 100+ years.
Chemistry hasn't changed for like 100+ years.
Biology works with 15+ years. Some details or classifications may change.
Math, like 2000+? Years.
Calc, 200+? Ish?
Basic physics, as old as math.
Higher level, still 50+
History is debatable but the classic "western history" fundamentals are still necessary. Too many people don't know anything about Mesopotamia, Sumer, egypt, Greco-Romans, etc.
all the other subjects could use updates, but the fundamentals still haven't changed too much
With all the information being stored on computer disks, textbooks are no longer necessary. The arbitrary assignments of professors who write books that can cost up to $1,000. They are only used one semester and will be obsolete before the next. It is a great scam and costs the students more than tuition.
Yes, college textbooks should be on loan for free just like textbooks in public high school. College costs are rising at a harried pace and if textbooks were available for loan or free to college students this would be one very practical way to reduce student's overall costs. Universities could by the rights to course textbooks and then provide students who are enrolled in classes digital access to these textbooks for the duration of the course. This would cut costs for printing and publishing. It would be a green alternative, reducing need for printing and paper. It would be a cost effective solution for all parties.
A significant amount of money goes into paying for a college education. The fact that the learning materials, something required to pass, are also laden onto the shoulders of the student is ridiculous. Include the textbooks in the cost of the course or fall back on high school habit and have books that belong to the classroom.
Well their are two questions that need to be answered before coming to any conclusion. First why the prices were raised and second whom and how will it affect? Their might be several reasons for the hike in the prices of the textbooks like the increasing prices of the raw materials or the growing inflation, etc. Now someone has to pay the price for the books. Simply making the books free isn't the solution. As it will put the entire burden of the books either on the college administration or on the seller. A proper and calculated method to divide the burden is to divide the ratio of prices in between the college administration and the students. This seems like a reasonable solution.
Who pays for the textbook? The person writing it, the person selling it, or the person buying it? There are costs inherent in everything, and someone is going to pay for it. Why not the end user?
That being said, they absolutely are overpriced for no conceivable reason. That doesn't mean that they should be free.
Unless someone comes up with a great plan for how they would be free we have to keep charging for them or publishers will stop putting them out. At the very least though, we should investigate ways to reduce costs or offer more scholarships for books since the cost of college overall is also out of control.