ORILLIA, ON – Several days after receiving $1,250 from the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Jackson Briggs was surprised to find that he had immediately spent the totality of the money on a single PDF textbook.
“Since my internship got cancelled and the pool I used to be a lifeguard at is closed, I decided to spend the summer taking an organic chem course to get ahead,” said the third year biology student. “I didn’t really process how expensive the digital textbook for the class was… well until I went to buy some groceries and had my card rejected.”
“Fuck, this was suppose to last me all month.”
Scholarly Horse, the publisher of the astronomically priced textbook, defended their choice to markup their textbooks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s all about supply and demand,” rationalized a spokesperson for the company. “Right now, many students are forced to take online courses, and we know many of said students have come into a pretty sum of money from ‘daddy Trudeau.’ Since we’re the only publishing house with a monopoly on post-secondary PDF chemistry textbooks, we’re the ones who get to evaluate the value of our intellectual property.”
“What are those kids gonna do, learn about nucleophiles on SparkNotes? This isn’t a Shakespearian English class we’re talking about.”
Briggs says he wishes he could have spent some of the government benefit on his phone and internet bill or on some food for his cat, but remained good-natured about the whole affair.
“I feel bad for being the one kid in class who accidentally paid for his textbook,” laughed the 21 year-old, as he typed away on his laptop. “But I’ve also become pretty popular because I’ve shared the file with anyone who asked for it.”
The textbook in question, Intro to Organic Chemistry Vol. 28, differs vastly from the previous volume mainly due to the fact that all the chapters have been reorganized.