(English Language& Literature)
Throughout the history of college starting from the medieval times, learning and books, especially textbooks, were in an indispensable relationship. Before the arrival of information technology, both student and teacher were familiar with printed paper books since there were no other way to collect academic resources. Yet, as the contemporary technology has developed, the faults of college textbooks have been rising to the surface. Such defects include expensive price and less frequency of use.
To begin with, majority of the textbooks are highly priced for college students who are mostly in a poor financial condition. The total price of the textbooks depends on his or her major, but the average rate is extremely high without a doubt. For instance, my major, English literature, requires a lot of original texts which are in a high price range than regular books. As a sophomore, I am currently taking four majors and had to pay over a hundred thousand won in the beginning of the semester just on textbooks. Of course, the texts are all read in classes, but still, it was a burden for me since it took a quarter of my monthly living expenses. In the case of engineering or business major students who carry bulky theoretical books all the time, their textbook price would double that of mine.
Furthermore, the textbooks are often used partially throughout the cases. The reason why this happens is that some professors plan to use only some parts of the book from the beginning, or simply runs out of time to finish the book throughout the semester. What is ineffective is that most students will never return to the uncovered parts of the textbook and just leave them as clean sheets of paper. This happens quite a lot and some students do not purchase their textbooks at all, especially for liberal subjects which keep books nominally. In order to prevent students from sitting in class without a textbook when it is really needed, Dongguk’s Dharma College gave out textbooks to all students taking “My Life, My Vision” on a trial this semester.
One of the practical solutions toward the problems is to activate a second-hand book system. In fact, a lot of students including myself are willing to buy used books, but simply do not know where to find one. In fact, a lot of students including myself are willing to buy used books, but simply do not know where to find one. Thankfully, the school’s online community, Dyeon, runs a section called “Dyeon Market” where students can buy or sell products at a relatively low price; it would be nice if there is an entire section just for textbooks. Launching a used book corner within the school bookstore would be even better.
Another solution would be implementing e-Book system. Now, I have heard of e-Book in our school library, but never heard of its usage as textbook in regular courses. Nowadays, most students have at least one technological device from smartphones, laptops, or tablet PCs. So why hesitate to use e-Book as textbook if it is easily accessible and affordable? As far as I know, schools that have already adopted this system are quite satisfied with the results. Both students and professors can afford the book more easily since e-Book is cheaper than paper books.
We often say that college is “the hall of knowledge” where we seek for true meanings of learning and knowledge. Perhaps the reader of this essay, yourself, is a student or a faculty of Dongguk University, pursuing your academic goals. However, the way to pursue our knowledge is often getting interrupted by the faults of textbooks such as its burdensome price and partial use. Now is the time for universities to come up with solutions like instituting the e-Book system or revitalizing second-hand book store for the sake of students.
Lho Hyun-jung firstname.lastname@example.org
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