I came across an interesting article about how college students are starting to pirate text books due to their excessive prices. What really hit home for me was when the organic chemistry text book I use was featured in the article.
Consider the cost of a legitimate copy of one of the textbooks listed at the Pirate Bay, John E. McMurry’s “Organic Chemistry.” A new copy has a list price of $209.95; discounted, it’s about $150; used copies run $110 and up. To many students, those prices are outrageous, set by profit-engorged corporations (and assisted by callous professors, who choose which texts are required). Helping themselves to gratis pirated copies may seem natural, especially when hard drives are loaded with lots of other products picked up free.
Link: Digital Domain
Yes, I own (and bought) McMurray’s 7th edition of Organic Chemistry. I bought the booke new, along with the solutions manual for somewhere around $250 USD. Yes, it is very expensive, however I buy all of my science text books new and would never consider uying them used or even pirating them. There is one reason behind my logic. These science books are invaluble, not only for the classes I am taking but they will be in the future as well. These books get highlighted, marked and drooled on by me during hours upon hours of reading.
I cannot imagine pirating these text books and the main reason is that the formatting would be off. To be able to write on the pages you would have to print out the .pdf file anyways. Consider printing out the 1200 page organic chemistry book in color. At 30 cents a page you will end up paying almost $360.00 to print everything out. Printing the book out in black and white would cost $120.00, a significant savings, however color would definately be needed for some of the pages.
In the long run it is cheaper to buy these text books. Yes, they are expensive and most college students do not open them. However for those of us who value education, these books are sadly worth the price.