Originally Posted by Madam Broshkina
I do not think that a subscription based system is such a bad deal for text books. A lot of students tend to sell their books at a loss when they are finished with them anyway. Since the text books are advertised at 50 percent off the normal hard cover price the costs may work out in the end. Plus you have the ability to search through the text. I would much rather have all my text books on a netbook rather then carry a bunch of hard copies around.
The only people who pay full price for textbooks are the foolish and the uninformed. I usually buy my textbooks online used, but in a good enough condition that I can sell them back to the bookstore. I almost never pay more than 75%, so my actual cost is around 25% of the retail price.
I just checked, and most of the subscriptions from CourseSmart can be had for about 50% of the retail price of the book. But since I pay less than full retail for my textbooks it's not all that great of a deal.