From an article in the Economist.
There are some tremendous textbooks, Molecular Biology of the Cell, to quote an example, but many are dull. I understand a little about the business of textbook production, and change seems long overdue. My own efforts are of course very humble, but I am working on improving things. This graph does not attest to much innovation: more Eroom’s law than Moore’s law.
Talking the familiar text book as an example, American researcher David Wiley compares the cost of renting 75,000 movies ($9.00 a month fromNetFlicks) or renting any of 20 million songs from Spotify ($9.99/month) with the cost of renting a college text book . A single biology text book rents for $12.99 a month from BookRenter. This cost imbalance is especially vexing in that consumers choose to rent movies or songs, while professors (often in collusion with publisher representatives) choose the textbooks that others (the students) pay for.
Terry Anderson writes