As a follow up to the last post, the Washington Post this morning contained an article detailing current legislation pending in Congress (passed by the House actually) that addresses many of the costs associated with higher education. While the main thrust of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act is to provide more aid for students of need to attend college, there are provisions in the bill designed to dampen textbook prices.
For instance, forcing publishers to state the price of a textbook up front when promoting a book to a professor for possible use in the classroom (this is not often done currently). And ending the practice of packaging textbooks with tons of rather useless addons which are typically not used in the course and are almost always of little or no value (think of that CD you never touched attached to the inside back cover of your calculus text (well, at least not our book for 108-109)).
A similar bill has also passed the Senate, and now the reconciliation between the two must begin. It is also said in the article that the White House opposes the bill. No threat of a veto, but Bush wuill seek changes before he signs.
I believe it is a good thing that Congress is paying attention. Let's also hope the publishers are....