Guest Poem – ‘A Letter to Textbook Publishers’

We were on our tumblr the other day when we saw a poem that we needed to republish. The poem, written by Stephen T. Kennedy and originally posted on his tumblr, is just another reminder about why we’re around. Stephen is former college student of history and literature, and his book of poetry is available on Amazon. Our favorite part of the poem? “We have the internet. / And we know how to use it better than you do.” Read the whole poem below!

A Letter to Textbook Publishers


—you scream, completely missing the point of quotations

Not that it matters,
You with your collection of knowledge,
You’ve got your arms wrapped in a stranglehold,
Winking as you say,
“Hey, don’t sweat it kid, this is the cost of education,
Just pull some loans,
Worry about it later.”

But why do you charge hundreds of dollars for anthologies of public domain works?
Why the hell do you release new editions so often,
—It’s not like things like College Algebra, Entry Level Biology, and American Civil War History(SURVEY COURSE EDITION!!!) are facing radical revisions every few years.
I took American History II (9th EDITION DON”T MISS OUT!) with an 8th edition text, and the only differences were the page numbers.
And who, who really uses the online course aids?
I have six of those codes ($600 VALUE!) and I’ve never used one,
—What is an online code anyway? Is it an admission that your text is incomplete?

Well, I’ll tell ya straight up,
—If you can handle the colloquialism
Those students you’re pillaging,
They’re your future content generators,
So come thirty years down the line
—Not that you give a damn about that *far flung future*
If people are going broke buying your texts,
If people are dropping out because they can’t afford your texts,
If people are failing because they have to work full time to afford your texts,
Who the hell is going to be left to buy your texts?

To write your texts?

Settle for everyone making a fair amount of money,
Instead of mountains.

If you don’t, we have the internet.
And we know how to use it better than you do.

-An Upset Future