I have a lovely memory of my mother's expression of surprise when she found out how much my textbooks cost my freshman year.

If you're the parent of a college-aged child, your kid knows the look: jaw agape, hands in hair, disbelief.

How on Earth have textbooks become so wildly expensive compared to when I was in school?

The video above, courtesy of The Economist, explains why.

Enjoy.

And if you're sending your kid to school and cringing at the sight of textbook receipts, know that you aren't alone and you have my sympathies.