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Ode to Textbooks!!


Ahh textbooks: the bane of our existence.

“For my College Physics I, I had to purchase a textbook…or so I thought. I got the textbook for as cheap as I could, but it was practically unintelligible.”

“Once again, the educational system has failed at providing students with a useful tool to learn the subject. I don’t know why I even bother buying these books for classes, I always end up finding other tools to use instead.”

“I’m so bitter about the Textbooks, I HATE professors who go ‘YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS BOOK’ Only to never crack it open. Real fucking thanks.”


As another wonderful semester is upon us, let us take this time for an homage… to the hilarity of those horrible texts we spend thousands on every year, yet would prefer to send to burn in the hellish fire of a thousand suns.

Cue the Wagner!

 Press “play” for a wonderful accompaniment to your reading experience.


Maybe your textbook is simply too large and dis-organized…




Or maybe your Mastering Physics codes don’t work (despite paying $100 extra)…




Or maybe, it just should never have existed in the first place…




STEWART for the WIN!




Look – even the textbook editors are in pain!

Photo: boredpanda.com



Don’t actually do it. It’s not that bad. I promise. (Photo: worldwideinterweb.com)




And for the grand finale…

…an unfortunate illustration of Potential Energy!!

Photo: pleated-jeans.com


NOTE: This is all in good fun.

Please… beat on your textbooks out of frustration, even burn them at the end of the semester if you have to.

But let’s not incite violence, protests, or threats to publishing companies…

Laugh away your frustrations now, so you can get down to business when it counts.

Have a good semester.


  • James October 16, 2014, 4:58 pm

    Here’s where at least some of that textbook money is going: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/02/04/the_house_that_math_built.html

    • Tom October 19, 2014, 1:38 pm

      Wow I had no idea! Wouldn’t have expected the actual author to be able to pull that much from a publishing deal. I guess in this case his books have dominated so widely that everyone involved has made a ton off of the product regardless.

      It’s interesting to read that, “When it was finished, the book stood out for being easy to understand. It was a bestseller by 1992.” By today’s standards, the bar must not have been set too high.

      Despite his success, here’s where I think the biggest problem lies (and where the biggest opportunity for taking the next leap forward in technical reference material is): “Stewart spent the next seven years in exile and wrote the kind of book he’d like to use.”

      I think what we all want instead are materials that (1) are developed over a much shorter period of time in conjunction with student feedback on usability, and (2) are what students like to use, not what the writer wants to use.

      Anyways, interesting topic. Thanks for sharing!

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