Each class that I attend in seminary has it’s own stack of books which a lecturer puts on the shelf as required reading. Some are chosen as text books and some are just books which would be deemed helpful for the students reading and overall grasp of the particular subject.
It is a problem when the books recommended are required for reading, being text books and others needed for book reviews and summaries. This is because there are only a few copies. Not only a few but sometimes just one copy.
This poses an ethical problem for the student studying in Asia or maybe the one I’m in right now (Malaysia). Since the library do not have the books and the shops sometimes do not have the titles, not to mention the crazy prices that a theological student has to pay for books because most students don’t make money and so this poses as a problem.
We would either photo copy the book, as a last resort to buying an original copy if it is available, or the price is right in a sense. Sometimes this is really a problem to me because I like books and all that. I sacrifice to buy them but the availability of the book and the price sometimes is an issue.
Sometimes I think that if books would be available to be bought electronically and viewed using PDF format, that might burden the weight of looking for book availability in bookstores especially textbooks and maybe that can be less pricey in a sense.
Well until then it’s still the same old problem a seminarian faces in Malaysia. Well mine personally that is.