The alternative is open textbooks. Open textbooks are faculty-written and peer-reviewed like traditional textbooks, but they are published under an open license, meaning they are free online, free to download, and affordable in print. 82% of survey respondents said they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook were free online and a hard copy was optional, which is exactly how open textbooks work. Open textbooks save students $100 per student, per course on average.
The cost of textbook prices has had many college students and their families struggling for years, especially as they try to balance the spiking cost of tuition, along with purchasing expensive textbooks.
Some students say that textbook prices have increased by nearly triple digits during the last ten years.
Alternative to buying brand-new, print edition textbooks have been available through rental programs, used book markets, and e-textbooks.
As an adjunct, a distinguished visiting professor and a guest lecturer throughout this great nation, I have always advocated that college, or university libraries place all my textbooks on hold for students to read and complete their assignments, as long as they remain inside their library
Now we learn that one well known US institution for higher learning is finally doing something about it: Maryland university to eliminate textbooks http://usat.ly/1LEJhMF via @usatodaycollege