Textbook Racketeering

John McDuling at Quartz on the college textbook racket:

Even so, the trend is clear. College textbook prices have more than doubled since December 2001, the first month data were broken out for college textbooks. Over the same period the overall consumer price level is up just 35%.

Help may be on the way. A range of new digital entrants are offering textbooks at much cheaper prices, or even for free. In the research note, Morgan Stanley analysts point to Boundless Resources, Flat World Knowledge, OpenStax and Bookboon as notable, would-be disruptors in college textbooks.
Cheaper textbooks is a welcome disruption. Fuck the publishers.
And what do I mean by the college textbook industry being a “racket”?
From [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racket_(crime)): “A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, will not be affected, or would not otherwise exist.”
College textbooks get updated every year, many times with little to no relevant updates to the content. This is all done so students have to buy the newest version every year. So textbook publishers are offering to solve a problem that does not actually exist. The existing books don’t need updating.
This is bullshit.