Bill Hopes E-Books Will Save Students Money

Saying it could save more than 50 percent on the cost of textbooks, some House Democrats want to give Ohio college students the chance to trade in their piles of expensive books for laptops or other electronic readers.

Under the bill, which the Columbus Dispatch is reporting, the regents would have two years to require publishers to electronic versions of textbooks. Publishers also would be required to provide textbook formats for students with disabilities.

Textbook costs have increased an average of 6 percent per year from 1986 to 2006 and have risen 10 percent a year since.

A handful of universities have been doing digital-textbook pilot programs.

Students in a psychology course at Miami University paid $45 for an e-book compared with $100 for the textbook. A biology class at the University of Dayton paid $65 for an e-book, compared with $134 for a textbook.

The bill also would:

• Implement a bulk purchasing program for books used at several institutions.

• Prohibit textbook and material bundling, to avoid having students buy items they do not need.

• Require bookstores to pay at least 50 percent of the original price for books sold back by students.

• Prohibit professors from receiving any incentive for using particular textbooks, outside of royalties for writing them.

About Marion Online News

Marion Online is owned and operated by the (somewhat) fine people at Neighborhood Image, a local website design and hosting company. We know, a locally owned media company, it's crazy. To send us information, click on Contact Us in the menu.