Textbook pricing

Well, seems pharmaceuticals aren't the only thing that's cheaper to re-import into the US, rather than buying them domestically.

There's an article at the New York Times (registration required) and discussion over at Slashdot about how a lot of textbooks can be bought for significantly cheaper from overseas markets than locally. Textbooks from Amazon UK can be as much as half the cost of the same textbook purhased from Amazon US.

Apparently, this is starting to cause textbook publishers quite a bit of consternation, which is about time. I've always thought textbook prices were outrageous. One of the most expensive textbooks (on a price/page basis) I ever bought was was a skinny little 8x4 textbook on classical mechanics, probably less than 200 pages. The book cost me about $100Cdn at the time (maybe about 10 years ago). I remember textbooks being a significant portion of my education expense during my undergrad year, and that was 10 years ago!. I wasn't unusual for me to spend $400/semester on textbooks. With my wife back in school, textbook expenses are about the same, but she's taking fewer classes than I did and most of the books we buy are used, from places like Amazon Marketplace and Classbook.com to name a few. If we bought them all new, I'm sure we'd be close to the $600/semester mark. Now that I know about this overseas thing, it'll be one more source to check out at textbook shopping time.