Textbooks are editions of books specifically intended for the use of students who are enrolled in a course of study or preparing for an examination on a subject or in an academic discipline, as distinct from the trade edition of the same title, sometimes published in conjunction with a workbook, lab manual, and/or teacher’s manual. Textbooks also refers to the standard work used for a specific course of study, whether published in special edition or not. Textbooks were among the first works to be published following the invention of printing from movable type.

Textbooks are usually ordered by college bookstores in quantity, based on projected course enrollment. The standard publisher’s discount on textbook orders is 20 percent. Used copies in good condition may be sold back to the bookstore for resale at a lower price than new copies. Academic libraries generally do not purchase textbooks because for most subjects they quickly become outdated, but a textbook received as a gift, usually from a faculty member, may be added to the collection if the need exists.

According to the National Association of College Stores, the textbook market (including course packs) was a $10.25 billion industry in FY 2009-2010. Library and Book Trade Almanac (2010) reports that the average price of an academic textbook (all subjects) was $92.86 in 2008, an increase of 5.5 percent over the previous year. It is reported that tuition increases and the relentless rise in textbook prices threaten to make higher Education unaffordable for students from low- to moderate-income families. The increases have sparked student resistance and forced college and university administrators, state legislatures, and even the U.S. Congress to address the issue. Various solutions have been suggested, including tax breaks, book rentals, and institutional licensing.

Textbook are not the same as textbooks edition, which are trade books issued in a separate edition specifically for the use of students enrolled in a course of study. The format may be altered to make it more useful, for example, by the addition of study questions and bibliographies at the end of each section or chapter.



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Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Adhémar Esmein, Classification for Law Libraries, Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries 4, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Education, European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, History of International Law, International human rights law Part 36, Law Books, Legal education, Legal Treatises, Ray A. August, Ray August, The American and English Encyclopedia of Law, The Path of the Law, Top 25.000 English words.



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