Grumblings over high textbook prices heard all over college bookstores at the beginning of every semester will not be absent in California. The Textbook Affordability Act (SB 832) was placed on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk to be signed into effect by October 14th.

SB 832 would have aided students in keeping down the cost of textbooks by making teachers more involved in the process. The bill would have forced publishers to publish the price of a textbook and a list of the changes between editions when the books are shown to professors, who will decide which to use for the semester. According to a report by the California Student Public Interest Research Group, 94 percent of professors would take price into consideration when choosing a textbook, but only 38 percent of faculty members actually received an answer from publishers when they asked how much a textbook cost. The Textbook Affordability Act would have made sure that publishers could no longer beat around the bush when asked about prices, and would have taken effect immediately.

Much to the dismay of college students and alike, Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill on October 14th, saying that SB 832 “fails to recognize that the affordability of textbooks is a shared responsibility among publishers, college bookstores, and faculty members.” Instead he signed the College Textbook Transparency Act (AB 1548), which has the same idea as SB 832, but does not take effect until the year 2010. The College Textbook Transparency Act and the Textbook Affordability Act are similar, but AB 1548 requires that faculty submit requests to publishers for the prices in order to get them.

If faculty were able to see the full information (i.e. price and what changed between editions) they would likely be able to make sound decisions more quickly, which would have left students with more time to shop around for the book and to order online for cheaper prices. Even with very little time left to order books, many of’s bookstore partners can ship overnight and we still display the cheapest prices for textbooks, no matter what state you are in.


Allen, Nicole. “Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoes the College Textbook Affordability Act.” CALPIRG. 15 OCT 2007. CALPIRG. 29 Oct 2007. <>

Tran, Kory. “Gov. signs one textbook act, vetoes another.” Golden Gate Xpress Online 14 OCT 2007 29 OCT 2007 <>