Sticker Shock

I’m going to be teaching a first year Property Law course in the winter term, my first for about three years, and thinking to do things differently, I explored the possibility of requiring students to purchase a textbook along with the casebook I’m preparing. There’s a pretty decent text in property law and so I checked: yep, there’s a recent edition. And then — whammo! — the price: $151.


I know law books are expensive. The market is, after all, minuscule compared to others. And we can thank our stars that we’re not educating doctors, where book prices approach the heavens. But I have to say I hadn’t counted on this, even for 500 worthwhile pages. There is a student price of $92, making things somewhat better — about 20 cents a page. But I’m not at all sure I want to impose this sort of a burden on my students.

Having played in the Elysian Fields (where copyright goes to die?) of the internet’s free information for the last few years, I’m clearly spoiled. I just hope I’m not ruined.


  1. At least it’s a textbook. Paying $60-70 for a “coursepack” comprising barely legible cases and articles that were originaly mimeographed in 1955 is much worse.

  2. I am currently reeling from prices coming out of the UK. One volume of anything is coming in close to $500 Cdn after you add in shipping and taxes (sometimes before).

    I mean really, why is it so much?? If this was coming out of my own pocket, I would not be buying these books.