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Encyclopedia > Textbook
Three textbooks.

A textbook is a manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study. They are produced according to the demand of the educational institutions. Textbooks are usually published by one of the four major publishing companies. Although most textbooks are only published in printed format, some can now be viewed online. I took this photograph myself. ... I took this photograph myself. ... Look up manual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up instruction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of paper, parchment, or other material, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. ...



Textbooks emerged as teaching instruments with Johann Gutenberg's printing press. Early textbooks were used by teachers, who used the books as instructional aids. Later books were printed for children, and have become the primary teaching instrument for most children since the 19th century. This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... The printing press is a mechanical device for printing many copies of a text on rectangular sheets of paper. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Used textbook market

As with many media products, a market for used textbooks exists. The goal of such trade is to acquire textbooks for less money than the price of new copies or to sell unneeded books to recoup some or all of their purchase price.


The bookstore selling the textbooks often also buys them back after use, but for a lower price. Furthermore, there are many companies specialized on only buying and selling used textbooks.

Other students

Students also tend to sell textbooks amongst themselves. After completing a course, sellers will often seek out members of the next enrolling class, people who are likely to be interested in purchasing the required books. This may be done by posting flyers to advertise the sale of the books or simply soliciting individuals who are shopping in the college bookstore for the same titles. Many larger schools have independent websites set up for the purpose of facilitating such trade. These often operate much like digital classified ads, allowing students to list their items for sale and browse for those they wish to acquire. Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particulalry common in newspapers and other periodicals. ...


Used textbooks are also sold on a national and even global scale through online merchant and auction websites which allow shoppers to search many major new and used book sellers at a time for specific titles. Such services can usually locate books based on their title, ISBN or UPC. Students must shop carefully to make sure they obtain accurate titles. Sometimes professors choose to bundle their textbooks, but not all components may be available online. Students also have access to purchasing annotated teacher's editions online, which if they use at school, may constitute cheating. International copies also pose a risk for shopping online, as some books are completely different from their national counterparts. Most stores are willing to share their intellectual property with the public (ISBN numbers and associated research), but students should keep in mind that money spent at their school stay at their school. The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN (sometimes pronounced is-ben), is a unique[1] identifier for books, intended to be used commercially. ... UPC is a three letter acronym that can stand for: Uganda Peoples Congress Ultra Personal Computer Unified Parallel C Uniform Plumbing Code Union des Populations du Cameroun United Pan-Europe Communications United Pentecostal Church United Poultry Concerns United Presbyterian Church Universal Product Code Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya University...

United States

Educational oversight Secretary Deputy Secretary U.S. Department of Education Margaret Spellings Raymond Simon National education budget $1. ...


In most K-12 public schools, a local school board votes on which textbooks to purchase from a selection of books that have been approved by the state Department of Education. Teachers receive the books to give to the students for each subject. Teachers are usually not required to use textbooks, however, and many prefer to use other materials instead. Textbook publishing in the U.S. is a business primarily aimed at large states, especially California and Texas. This is due to state purchasing controls over the books. When publishers succeed in making a sale to either or both states, they are guaranteed a large print run and therefore a profitable product. The Texas State Board of Education spends in excess of $600 million on its central purchasing of textbooks. K-12 (Pronounced Kay through twelve or just Kay twelve) is the North American designation for primary and secondary education. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Department of Education may refer to any of several government agencies: United Kingdom Department for Education and Skills (until 1996 named Department of Education) Scottish Education Department United States United States Department of Education United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Many U.S. states also have their own... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ...

Because textbook publishing is a competitive business, when mistakes occur they are costly to remedy and when objections to either the inclusion or the exclusion of material are voiced, the publishers attempt to compromise in an effort to make the sale. As a result of this procedure errors have been known to crop up in textbooks covering almost every subject.

College and university

In U.S. institutions of higher education, textbooks are chosen by the professor teaching the course, or by the department as a whole. Students buy their own copies of their books. The University of Cambridge is an institute of higher learning. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ...

Criticisms and controversies

High school

In recent years, high school textbooks of United States history have come under increasing criticism. Authors such as Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States), Gilbert Sewall (Textbook Publishing), and James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me) make the claim that U.S. History textbooks contain mythical untruths and omissions, which paint a whitewashed picture that bears little resemblance to what most students learn in universities. Inaccurately retelling history, through textbooks or other literature, has been practiced in many societies, from ancient Rome to the Soviet Union. History textbooks are not subjected to review by professional academics, nor can authorship of a high school textbook be used to advance an academic toward tenure at a university. The content of history textbooks thus lies entirely outside the academic forum of fact and social science and is instead determined by the political forces of state adoption boards and ideological pressure groups. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Pre-Colonial America For details, see the main Pre-Colonial America article. ... Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian, social critic, playwright and political scientist and author of the book A Peoples History of the United States, originally published in 1980 and which routinely sells more than 100,000 copies a year, according to The New York Times... This article contains a trivia section. ... James (Jim) W. Loewen PhD is an author, historian, and professor. ... Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen, is a critical review of the gulf between the best evidence available to historians and the evidence presented to American high school students in the 12 most popular history textbooks. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a scholarly process used in the publication of manuscripts and in the awarding of funding for research. ... Look up tenure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ...

Science textbooks have been the source of some debates and have come under scrutiny from several organizations. The presentation or inclusion of controversial scientific material has been debated in several court cases. Poorly designed textbooks are also one theory on declining grades in mathematics and science in the United States and organizations such as the AAAS have criticized the layout, presentation, and amount of material given in textbooks. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an organization that promotes cooperation between scientists, defends scientific freedom, encourages scientific responsibility and supports scientific education for the betterment of all humanity. ...

The Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County brought forward a debate about secular humanist values being presented in textbooks. Smith v. ... Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. ...

In his popular book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, the late physics Nobel Prize laureate Richard P. Feynman described his devastating experiences as he once sat in a commission that evaluated science textbooks. At some instances, there were nonsensical examples to illustrate physical phenomena; then a company sent — for reasons of timing — a textbook that contained blank pages, which even got good critiques. Feynman himself experienced veritable attempts of bribery. Surely Youre Joking, Mr. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Nobel Prize medal. ... Richard Feynman Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918–February 15, 1988) (surname pronounced FINE-man) was one of the most influential American physicists of the 20th century, expanding greatly the theory of quantum electrodynamics. ... Bribery is a crime implying a sum or gift given alters the behaviour of the person in ways not consistent with the duties of that person. ...

College and university

Many university students complain of unreasonably high textbook costs. Since the 1980s, textbook prices have risen much more rapidly than the overall rate of inflation [1]. George W. Bush said in a December 2006 speech at Ohio State University that rising textbook prices are one of the greatest economic crisis in our nation's history. The word student is etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, meaning to direct ones zeal at; hence a student is one who directs zeal at a subject. ...

Publisher representatives are paid, to a large part, based upon the sales of their books. It is therefore in their best interest to find ways to increase the sale of new books.

According to the National Association of College Stores, typically 12% of the price of a book goes to the author's royalties, 23% goes to the store, 32% pays for the publisher's paper, printing, binding, and editorial costs, and another 32% is taken by the publisher for profit or to cover expenses such as marketing and administration.[citation needed]

Some publishers sell copies of their textbooks to foreign markets at a much lower cost. The rationale is that these sales are additional, unpredictable income and should not be a factor in the pricing of textbooks in America. A study by a Duke University student found that, as the Internet has become more prevalent and facilitated the reimportation of international editions, publishers have responded by raising the price of the international editions. [2]PDF Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for desktop publishing use. ...

Used textbook market

Most college bookstores allow students to sell their textbooks back to the store. This price is typically 50% of the original price if the book is going to be re-used at the same college. Some bookstores offer more than the 50%, and apply that pricing to books in new or used condition. The books that are not being re-used typically yield zero to thirty percent of the new price. These wholesale prices are set by national used textbook companies and are based upon an economic model which predicts national sales of the books and compares them to inventory levels. Different companies set different prices.

An example of a book being purchased for a national used book company follows. First, the student sells the book back (at their college bookstore) to a national used book company, who generally runs the buybacks at college bookstores, where they buy books on behalf of the college and also for their national company. Reps from the used book company send the books they purchase from students back to the main processing center, where the books are then sold to another college bookstore. Finally, that book is sold as used to a student at another college at a price that is typically 75% of the new book price. At each step a margin is applied to the book to enable the respective companies to continue to operate.

Textbook exchanges

In response to escalating textbook prices, limited competition, and to provide a more efficient system to connect buyers and sellers together, online textbook exchanges were developed. The first online textbook exchange, known as the "The Student Market," was invented in 1996 by Oren Milgram while a junior at San Jose State University. Milgram made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. Although Milgram's textbook exchange service was free for both buyers and sellers, most of today's sites handle buyer and seller payments, and usually deduct a small commission only after the sale is completed.


With the large number of schools, subjects and grades in the United States, textbook publishing is a lucrative market, especially if a publisher can have a series of books adopted by politicians in a large state such as California or Texas. The five largest textbook publishers in the United States are: Thomson Learning, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Houghton-Mifflin and Harcourt General (a division of Reed Elsevier). A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... The McGraw-Hill Companies logo. ... i suck for crack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11Houghton Mifflin Company is a leading educational publisher in the United States. ... Reed Elsevier is a leading global publisher and information provider. ...



In grundskolan (basic school), the Swedish equivalent of K-12, textbooks are paid for by the school system.


However, for institutions of higher education, students pay for textbooks themselves, although higher education in Sweden is free of charge otherwise.

See also

The Kanawha County textbook controversy was one of the most violent book banning struggles in the 20th century United States. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... A casebook is a type of textbook used primarily by students in law schools. ... In the United States, a law school is an institution where students obtain a professional education in law. ...


  • Young, Jeffrey. San Jose State Student Creates System for Selling Used Books. Chronicle of Higher Education (1996-04-26).
  • Johnson, Jennifer. Student creates Internet bookstore. Spartan Daily (1996-01-31).

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Textbook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2099 words)
In U.S. institutions of higher education, textbooks are chosen by the professor teaching the course, or by the department as a whole.
History textbooks are not subjected to review by professional academics, nor can authorship of a high school textbook be used to advance an academic toward tenure at a university.
The content of history textbooks thus lies entirely outside the academic forum of fact and social science and is instead determined by the political forces of state adoption boards and ideological pressure groups.
Textbook - definition of Textbook in Encyclopedia (440 words)
A textbook is a book that strives to teach a student about a particular discipline, usually academic, and prepare him or her to perform some task or tasks using the acquired learning.
Textbooks have a very limited market—almost exclusively college students who need the book for a course—and would be unprofitable to produce if they were priced any lower.
While textbooks are in principle objective, there are sometimes accusations that a textbook has been written to support or suppress a particular point of view about a certain subject.
  More results at FactBites »



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