The Books of Evidence

The Irish Times – Letters

Madam, – There is a solution to the recycling of schoolbooks issue which was raised by Trevor Matthews (February 13th).

I am a parent of three school children and I have set up a free web site called schoolbookexchange.ie. This service allows families to buy, sell, or exchange used college and school books from each other. Thousands of families already use it.

In addition, the “Freeze School Book List” campaign is under way. If we can persuade teachers to freeze last year’s school book lists and re-use them again this year, it will assist considerably towards helping families all over Ireland re-use their school books and thus save money in every community throughout the country. – Yours, etc,

TIM HURLEY,

Rathmiles Avenue,

Killenard,

Co Laois.

All very laudable, but I came through an education system in which parents did not pay directly for school books: the cost was borne through general taxation. This has left me at a disadvantage in understanding why schools cannot procure these books directly, retain them and pass them down from year to year. Do citizens here object to contributing to the education of other people’s children or something?

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3 Responses to “The Books of Evidence”


  1. 1 Marian Quinn February 18, 2010 at 11:32 am

    And schools could also exhort pupils to “back your books” – we used brown paper or (usually garish) wallpaper – the better to preserve them for their inheritors.

  2. 2 Hugh Green February 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Indeed: the removal of a radiator in my parents’ front room recently revealed the sublime horrors of 1970s wallpaper: an ornate brown pattern with a textured relief I could only describe as ‘bearded’. That sort of thing was very common adorning maths textbooks back in the day.


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