Letters to the Editor

Letter: Bookstore not to blame for textbook prices

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

To the Editor:

Though textbook costs are absurdly high, Mike Johnson misplaces blame (“Can’t buy me…text,” Jan. 27). A Herald article from 2006 (“Publishers source of rising textbook costs,” Dec. 7) says the Brown Bookstore usually has a profit margin of around one percent, which I can’t imagine this economy has improved since then. Most of the fault — and your money — accrue to publishers, which the article says have been raising book prices at more than four times the inflation rate.

Amazon can often offer lower prices because it doesn’t provide the convenience of a store where we can browse textbooks and easily return the ones we decide against. I don’t blame anyone for checking book prices with online retailers. But when the price difference between the bookstore and Amazon is 10-15 percent or smaller — as it is much of the time — I am inclined to support one of the last independent university bookstores.

Nick Hagerty ’10

Jan. 28