Dumb Offtopic Ques: Why are school textbooks so huge?

Subject: Dumb Offtopic Ques: Why are school textbooks so huge?
From: “Udut, Kenneth” <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Foreign Language Teaching Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 12:50:23 -0500
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Dumb Offtopic Ques: Why are school textbooks so huge?

I can't figure this out.

Everyday, walking to work, I see
little 4th + 5th graders with these
gigantic bookbags on their bags, filled to the brim
and beyond.

Last Saturday, I went to a used bookstore, and
saw some school textbooks from the 1920's and 1930's
(including a nice one for Russian!), and they are
all tiny - maybe 5 1/2" x 8" at most, and 1/2" to
an inch thick.

Of course, the stuff inside is very compact - small
type, lots of information and exercises crammed into
a tiny little space.

But I look at textbooks now, and they're huge!
8 1/2" x 11" or 9"x12", 2" or 3" thick, *plus* the workbook,
which is equally large, *plus* a regular notebook
for notes, *plus* looseleaf binder with folders
to hold loose papers.

Multiply that by a few classes...

I know there's more pictures - I'm 28, and had the same
style of books in elementary school and later.

But I can't understand it!  Something's not 'clicking'
in my brain here.

Can anyone enlighten me?  There *has* to be a good reason
for it.

-Kenneth

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