Bought my textbook for my first German college class tomorrow!
Hallo! I start my first German class tomorrow at school, very excited. I went through my textbook and was surprised that I knew a very great deal of the book. After many months of studying German, Duolingo has done me well! I look forward to all that is to come!
Aaaah, Kontakte. I go way back with that one. It taught me how to read and write German a couple of years back :)
Now I haven't looked this specific book up, but, yes, paying anywhere from $50-$200 is normal. American textbook prices are crazy. You can sometimes get them for a tad less if you buy a used one or rent a textbook, not much, but every penny counts! :)
The reason American textbook prices are often astronomical is a complete failure of the market in textbook publishing. A given school usually has very little real power or motivation to select a book with a good price / quality ratio. Normally, publishers of new books first lobby the biggest states, particularly Texas, throwing huge amounts of money at useful politicians and at the same time asking them if they think parts of the books need to change. Because of all kinds of reasons, including educational standards, books that failed in the big states no longer being widely available, inertia and uninspired me-too-ism, other states tend to follow suit. The publishers can then pretty much charge whatever they want.
I recently read a newspaper report about a textbook writer dying a millionaire, while most of his readers had trouble making ends meet when they had to buy the book.
How exciting for you! I hope you really enjoy it, and good luck on your studies!