The unsettling task of buying books

As fall semester kicks off, many of us have welcomed the infamous college struggle back into our lives — we have swapped home-cooked meals for Ramen noodles, cups of Easy Mac and borrowed meal swipes all in the name of success.

Along with that struggle comes the unsettling task of purchasing textbooks.

Not only must we accept the fact that some of us may forever  owe money to our parents, UK or the federal government, we are also expected to accept the increasing prices of textbooks.

According to USA TODAY, the rates for textbooks in the last decade have jumped an astonishing 82 percent.

Though we  are expected to accept this unfairness, and oftentimes required to do so, a new era is  in the making: some students and professors have decided to take a stand.

For several professors, taking a stand  has consisted of simply refusing to use or force students to purchase the overly-priced books initially required for their course.

Music to our ears indeed, but this has been somewhat expected — professors are, after all, the ones who have assigned, worked with and watched the changes in prices of textbooks.

One would expect the number of professors choosing cheaper alternatives for their students to be greater than just a meager handful, but they haven’t, at least not all of them.

Another, more sinister trend has emerged. Instead of professors working with students to find cheaper alternatives for the textbooks, some have published their own books and have required students to purchase them at usually even higher prices — is this for their benefit or ours?

We also wonder why it is necessary to publish two or three editions of the same book, and then expect students to get the latest edition. One or two alterations do not validate an extra $100 coming out of our pockets.

Often we feel that students have been taken advantage of.

But luckily, with the debt piling beneath our feet, students have found alternative,  cheaper options. And we support this whole-heartedly.

Students have begun purchasing cheaper e-book versions of their textbooks, trading books with friends, and simply waiting to purchase books until the professor absolutely requires it.

Taking any action at all, no matter how small, makes a difference in what is paid and in what others earn by abusing our bank accounts.