12 Most Expensive College Textbooks in America

Last Updated May 10, 2010 4:47 PM EDT

Everybody wants cheap college textbooks. And it's no wonder since the typical college student spends roughly $1,000 a Open book with textyear on textbooks.

If you have to buy any of America's most expensive textbooks, however, your budget would be decimated.

What you're seeing here is a list of the country's most obscenely priced college textbooks. I asked Valore Books, which has four billion books listed on its used college textbook site, to run a search to find the college textbooks with the highest prices. Here are the textbooks that made it into my College Textbook Hall of Shame:

Highest Priced College Textbooks

  1. Acta Philosophorum The First Journal of Philosophy: $1,450
  2. Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications: $1,215
  3. Management Science An Anthology: $850
  4. History of Early Film: $740
  5. Biostatistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology: $665
  6. Companion Encyclopedia of Psychology: $600
  7. Feminism and Politics: $600
  8. Concepts and Design of Chemical Reactors: $593
  9. Advanced Semiconductor and Organic Nano-Techniques: $570
  10. Ethics in Business and Economics: $550
  11. Environment in the New Global Economy: $510
  12. Solid State Chemistry and Its Applications: $500
Why are these books pricier than others? " In general some books are more expensive because of the research involved and limited number of copies used in the market place," observes Bobby Brannigan, CEO and founder of Valore Books, who started selling used textbooks when he was in college in the early 2000's.

I think most students know that the best way to find cheap college textbooks is to buy online. At Valore Books, for instance, you can buy Acta Philosophorum for $184. What's surprising, however, is that only 23% of students buy their college textbooks online.

One reasons why more students don't turn to the Internet for cheap college textbooks is because many college bookstores, which are more expensive, don't release the names of required college textbooks for classes until the last minute. To get the cheapest textbooks possible, contact professors this summer so you'll have plenty of time to find the best textbook deals.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.com. Follow her on Twitter.

More on CBSMoneyWatch:

12 Facts About Student Loan Borrowers
College Tuition: Schools Cutting Prices at Historic Levels
Most expensive college textbook image by Adam UXB Smith. CC 2.0.

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