From the TES
Education secretary Nicky Morgan is to ask publishers to cut the prices of classic English novels for secondary schools, in a bid to ensure more teenagers have access to the books.
Ms Morgan is expected to make the request as part of a “rallying cry” to improve literacy, in a speech at Charles Dickens Primary School in Southwark, South London, today.
She will say that all children should have access to “our nation’s vast literary heritage” and that cheaper access to novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Emily Brontë would encourage schools to buy in more of the texts.
Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Emily Bronte are already available for a low cost. If you've got an e-reader or computer, you can get them for nothing. Their works entered the public domain long ago, and you can get them from places like Project Gutenberg, or sometimes Amazon, for £0.
If you want a paperback, it's about £2 a book, which is basically production and a little profit. And it's "little profit" because anyone can print and sell these books. There's no monopoly publisher. So, competition drives down the price. I doubt that this government scheme will be much cheaper.
This does then raise the thorny question of whether kids would want to read Dickens rather than The Hunger Games or Discworld books.
Sunday, 27 September 2015
From the TES