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Yes, with prices so outrageous, it seems to me there's very little reason to use textbooks for the reading I want students to do for my comp classes. I've been using the electronic-reserve services at the college library quite a bit, which seems to me a great way to pull together my own reader (esp. with the theme-based classes I've been teaching lately), as well as linking to available online articles. Clancy at culturecat had a very interesting post a while ago (I can't find it right now) about pulling a theme-based collection of readings from Creative Commons-licensed blogs. Also I've been very interested, following her promotion, in the idea of using H2O playlists to collect up some theme-based sets of readings. So many possibilities!!


I remember a graduate student who pulled together articles for her class, and one of the publishers packaged the articles and sold them to students. It was much cheaper than a regular textbook, was within copyright regulations, and guaranteed the reading would all be used in the class. I just wish I knew which publisher it was.

Of course, now, I work with a department where we all are required to use the same textbooks for each class. That makes it difficult to use a method like the one described above because we can't all agree about what articles would be useful. In this case, we are left to the whims of publishing companies, who, I agree, are more responsible for outrageous book costs than instructors.


Speaking of textbooks, Dead Dad recently posted about textbooks:

Sorry, I don't know how to make it a link.


The Mercury Reader is the one I've seen (from Pearson): It has 600 readings to choose from, including many of the standards, then lets you add up to 20% of other materials. I haven't tried it out myself, but it looked like a good possibility.

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