One of the largest implemented systems of planned obsolescence occurs right where it hits home: in our schools. Elementary schools through college and graduate schools all require the students and/or their parents to purchase text books. These text books almost always get some kind of new information or change the next year and the student is forced to use the new edition. The changes are usually placed sporadically throughout the book and most of the time causes a shift in page numbers so that it is difficult to follow if the student has the older edition. According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, textbooks can cost up to $1,200 per year on top of tuition and other fees. Some students polled even said that they forgo buying books to save money and they are aware that their grades may suffer. There have been so many proposed solutions for this problem of textbook costs, including perhaps adding the information at the end of the textbook or even creating a supplement so the student doesn’t have to purchase the entire book all over again. However, textbook publishers have a captive audience and a solidified niche in the market. They are ensuring that the old book editions become obsolete and the new editions are required.
By Lindsay Pemberton