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A textbook is a book that strives to teach a student about a particular discipline, usually academic, and prepare him to perform some task or tasks using the acquired learning.

Even into this computer age, textbooks are overwhelmingly hard copies that are distributed. In American colleges, many students complain of unreasonably high textbook costs, commonly $100 USD or more. In American K-12 schools a local school board often has a deciding vote on which textbooks are purchased, and often many levels of people have a say and influence in what should or shouldn't be said and how it should be presented, leading to textbooks that are often of limited effectiveness for learning.

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