Pirating textbooks is to be penny wise and pound foolish
If the lower price paid for ‘pirated’ textbooks is the main criterion on which the decision was made to break all intellectual property laws to have school books printed, then I submit that this is a good case of being penny wise and pound foolish.
There are two important differences between original and counterfeit. or look alike textbooks upon which I base my assertion.
The first, and perhaps of greater importance, is that apart from the covers the pirated textbooks are printed in black and white, whereas the original books are generally done in full colour.
Now, one does not have to be an expert in early childhood or any other type of education to know that coloured illustrations are powerful stimuli for getting children – especially the young – excited and interested in reading and learning generally. Parents know this fact, and may policymakers are parents, so I find it baffling that a decision was made to print books like The Rainbow Reading Series: Infant – Book 5 with just coloured covers.
Educators, please enlighten policymakers about the importance of colour in the learning process. And by the way, who wants to buy or be given a TV, camera, computer, etc, that is in black and white?
The second difference is the binding of the books.
The pirated books are printed on loose sheets which are glued together at the spine and sometimes stapled before the covers are affixed. On the other hand, most original textbooks are made using folded sheets which are stitched sectionally, then glued together before the covers are put on.
The better bound original textbooks therefore have a greater chance of lasting five or more years in the school system. (It was an old requirement of the Ministry of Education that new books should last a minimum of five years.) Is cost really the decisive factor driving this persistent desire to ‘pirate‘ books?
Austin’s Book Store