The Price of Paper Memories

To buy or not to buy?

That’s the question surrounding this year’s yearbook.

Though the prices have stayed the same, $59 in the fall, $75 in the spring and $85 plus tax on distribution day, the number of books sold has taken more than a 11 percent hit.

Last year, 1,140 yearbooks were sold and this year 1,000 were sold by this point.

Students must decide whether they want to purchase a yearbook. Photo credit to

Out of nine students polled, five have purchased a yearbook and four haven’t and don’t plan on it.

Freshman Lauren Swinehart said she is buying one because she “likes the idea of a book of memories.”

Sophomore Megan Schlegelmilch said, “I like how you can always have [the yearbook].”

Among the students not purchasing a yearbook, the reason seems to be unanimous – money.

“They’re expensive, I’ll just wait and get one my senior year,” said junior Jenna Waite.

Junior Lars Andersen said, “[The prices] are kind of high. I don’t really see the need, it’s like ransoming your memories.”

“No, I’m not getting one because the price is too high,” said sophomore Mikayla Herbert.

“They’re pretty expensive and [a yearbook] doesn’t matter to me,” said sophomore Logan White.

Douglas Anderson, a Penn Manor art teacher and the head of the yearbook, attributes a small part of the decrease in yearbook purchases to the constant change in class size, though he attributes the majority of it to the economy.

“It’s a pricey book, but I think people want something tangible for down the road,” Anderson said.

“I think [the price] is extremely high, what about people who can’t afford it?” said Schlegelmilch.

“Of course I’m getting one, it’s a yearbook,” said freshman Julia Norton.

Sophomore Aaron Sellers said, “They’re pretty expensive, but I’m still getting one.”

“I think they’re a bit pricey, but it’s a memory,” said sophomore Kierstin McDonald.

One solution would be making the yearbook completely online (much like Penn Points), but neither Anderson nor students find that to be a favorable option.

“I don’t think [sales] have gone down because of technology. I don’t think the yearbook will go online, five years from now, technology we have now might not be accessible,” Anderson said.

“I wouldn’t like that, I hate technology,” Waite said.

“That might be a little lame. The book’s there so you can have it,” White said.

“Maybe both [a book and online],” said Schlegelmilch.

Only time will tell the fate of the yearbook.

By Sarah Schaeffer


  1. I don’t think $59 is asking too much for a years worth of memories. Plus, you can figure out the names of the strange people that you always seem to pass in the hallway.

  2. @Brian: That sounds so stalkerish…

  3. Swanson` says

    Yearbooks are pointless for every1 but the seniors. So i paid the high price and im not complaining