Simply put, we live in a digital age. I type this on my laptop which sits next to my Android smartphone. Today I am reading chapters of a book that were posted online by my professor. Everything is great… not. See, the problem is the ominous pile behind me. It is a large mountain of books I have had to purchase throughout my years in college. They have cost me possibly a thousand dollars and are an eyesore. This is one of the many problems with having to buy print books.
In his book, Gary Hall believes that much could be accomplished if academic books could be put online. Firstly, he negates the problem of copyright. He reasons that copyright is not such an issue because most academic writers “tend not to be concerned about getting paid a fee for, or receiving royalties from their research publications” (Hall, 46). Hall also proves how easily accessible digital copies of a book are versus the print one. He does this by noting that most cultural studies journals only have approximately 400 to 600 copies internationally. Hall’s own co-founded Culture Machine which is an open-access online journal “was able to achieve a circulation of 6,500 in the first ten months of its existence” (Hall, 47). John Willinsky too notes that journal publishers are not out looking for profit and therefore should be willing to submit their work online where the masses can easily obtain it.
All in all, everyone would gain for academic books to be put online. This would help not only help lower student debt but would also publicize the book more so than if it was kept in print. We are in a digital age, there is no reason our books shouldn’t be here also!