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Two ways to beat the high cost of textbooks

Deseret News
May 22, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY — College students spend hundreds of dollars every semester on textbooks. But if it were up to three Utah college professors, they wouldn't spend a cent.

Larry Walther and Chris Skousen, professors at Utah State's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and Kenneth Kuttler, a BYU mathematics professor, have authored free downloadable textbooks. Their books, along with 1,500 others, are available free of charge on the website

It's part of a growing trend to offer alternatives to students frustrated by the cost of new textbooks, including rental markets that have become players in the book business, all bolstered by technology that makes connecting easier.

There is no paywall or paid upgrades to access the free e-textbooks. But the titles require a willingness by teachers to present their academic tomes next to advertisements geared to the student reader.

"In a sense, the future employers are paying for the students' textbooks," said Sophie Tergeist, a spokeswoman for

In the Media and Cultural Theory textbook, for example, an undergraduate economics or business student will find ads for careers at Ikea, UBS and Volvo on the bottom of some pages.

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