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People Around the World Share Satisfying Stories of Petty Revenge

74. Textbook Scam


This is a story I recall from college. As any college student is aware, textbooks have been a scam for a very long time. Some professors used it to their advantage, in fact, one professor I had assigned 5 required books for his class, 4 of which he authored or co-authored and received royalties from that we barely used.

One of my favorite professors was fed up with the college textbook scam. He authored an engineering textbook but was furious at the price the bookstores were charging students.

The publisher and the university-owned most of the rights to the textbook, so he didn’t have any control over pricing or distribution. He did find one caveat to the publisher’s contract, even though he could not reproduce and distribute printed copies of the book, or any of its contents, it didn’t say anything about “non-print” content.

So my professor hand-copied the entire text, including equations, graphs, and figures. He made copies of his handwritten textbook and passed them out at the beginning of class.

We had to hole punch and put it in a binder, but it was well worth the couple hundred dollar savings, and my professor got some revenge for the unethical practices of college textbook publishers.



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