A textbook is a manual of instructions and information, or a standard book in any branch of study. Textbooks are classified by both the targeted audience and the subject. Textbooks are usually published by specialty printers to serve every request for an understanding of every subject that can be taught. The making of textbooks is a large business that requires mass volume sales to make the publications are profitable. Although most textbooks are only published in printed format with hard covers, some can now be viewed on the internet.
Many university students complain of unreasonably high textbook costs. Since the 1980's, prices have risen much more rapidly than the rate of inflation, and many students feel that this represents price gouging on the part of the publisher. It's stated that publishers print new editions of a textbook with unnecessary frequency, solely to make older editions of their books useless; this depletes the used-textbook market, where publishers make no money from sales.
Additionally, some publishers have started bundling extra materials such as CD's and website access cards to textbooks in the hopes of increasing the value of the textbook. Some students feel this is a ploy by the publishing company to limit used book sales. Books that come shrinkwrapped with other items may not be returnable, even if the student drops the course early on.