Teacher’s textbook assignments too many, unused

Justin Satzman

I am sorry to beat a tired drum here, but college is expensive. There are not only the rising fees, but also the cost of parking, food and the rising amount of interest rates that are being put on college loans. Many college students can’t work full-time and some cannot work at all. That does not leave very much money for bills, emergencies and textbooks.

Don’t get me wrong, I think reading is a very important thing in life and I do not mind paying for some of the required books for my classes. However, there are two things about college professors and textbooks that drive me insane.

The first one is buying a book that we as a class rarely use. I have had classes where we were told to purchase a book that was no doubt over-priced, regardless of where you bought it. Then you look at the syllabus and notice that the book is required for a very short time, maybe one assignment.

What is the point of buying this book if we are not going to use it? Is it because the professor thinks we are going to read it on our own? If he or she really thinks that, they are dreaming. I love to read, but in my spare time, I do not read a textbook.

I do not understand why professors require that we purchase a book for only a few assignments. I am not questioning their teaching ethics, but it seems like they do not understand our predicament. I am sure something similar to the part of the textbook that they want us to read exists over the Internet or the professor could copy the certain sections that they want us to read and pass it out separately.

But this is one of the main reasons we as students do not buy textbooks until we see the syllabus, at least that is the reason I take a wait and see approach.

The other thing that some professors do is assigning too many books. Again, I am not questioning any professors teaching ability, but is it necessary to make us buy five or more books for a class that meets three hours a week? There is just not enough time in the semester to read a majority of those books that the students have overpaid for. I appreciate the commitment that professors have to make us learn as much as possible during the semester, but sometimes it is just not possible to do all of this reading. Then what it turns into for students is a waste of money, something that we do not have very much of.

Reading is an essential part of college and I have loved some of the reading that I have done for a variety of classes, but sometimes the textbook requirement that we are given is an unnecessary amount. I ask that when professors fill out their book requirements for their classes, they ask themselves if the book that they are mandating will be used frequently and is a necessity to their class. If that answer is yes, I have absolutely no problem buying the book. But if it is not a complete necessity, then do not expect me or a majority of college students to automatically purchase it.