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Textbook Solutions for Excessive Cost and Heft

March 20, 2004

Re "Easing the Textbook Pinch," editorial, March 16: By all means, let's lower the cost of college texts. We might also take a critical look at the large, expensive and very heavy tomes sold to K-12 schools. Is it really necessary for seventh-graders to carry four or five $60 books back and forth from school? Many schools do not have enough lockers for all students, so little kids wind up carrying terrible loads all day long. A child groaning under the horrible weight looks comical, but in fact it is an orthopedic tragedy. Forget the heavy covers; break the book into smaller segments. The public is being hoodwinked into buying grotesquely large, artistically pleasing but poorly researched and edited texts for its children.

Terry Caplenor

West Hills

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One way of easing the high cost to students for textbooks could be to use a method apparently forgotten in our decades of galloping prosperity. We children of the Great Depression called it "sharing."

Max Freedland

Long Beach

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