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Take My Textbooks and My Dignity

Even though renting textbooks has become the most cost-effective option, every semester I’m still forced to spend some serious dough on one or two books.

And every semester I sell them back for pennies.

This semester was no exception. I ventured to the bookstore with one textbook that I had bought “new” and two others that were “used.” I knew that I wasn’t going to leave with mountains of cash, but I was hoping for some extra bills to help get me through the holiday season.

First book: “We’re not buying these back.”

Second book: “We’re not buying these back either.”

Third book: “We can give you $7.50 for this one.”

Now, I’m not going to complain too much because I’m sure some of you got it worse, but when I went to collect my money, I was met with another pleasant surprise: five dimes. Instead of leaving the bookstore with $7 and two future gumballs, I jingled out of there with five freaking dimes in my pocket.

It’s a business. I get that. But what’s the deal with $7.50? Why not round it up to an even $8? Even more annoying is the fact that I couldn’t get the half of a dollar in its customary change. If you’re going to buy books back for $7.50, at least make sure the registers have plenty of quarters so I don’t have to leave the store feeling completely owned.

There has to be a better way. My thoughts are that the bookstore employ someone whose sole purpose is to beat the living bejesus out of students before they sell their books back. A few bruises and some blood might be enough to make a student feel like $7.50 isn’t a bad deal.

Personally, I think those textbooks that always get rejected aren’t being updated with new, scholarly information. There’s no way. I think new editions come out with extra chapters hidden deep in the book that just make fun of students because they bought yet another “updated” version:

Yeah, I did it again. The eighth edition didn’t have the new findings of the…no, I’m just kidding. I haven’t updated this thing with any useful info since ’02, but these kids just keep shoving money down my throat. HAHAHA!

Okay, so it’s probably not like that, but that’s how I feel around this time of the semester. If you didn’t sell those amazing textbooks back yet, then here’s a few other options to consider:

  • Keep it. Why the hell not? Maybe you’ll actually decide to read about the K/T boundary or Quantum Physics one day…or at least brush up on it.
  • Sell to a friend or classmate. It’s not particularly easy finding a buyer, but every now and then you find someone taking the same Gen. Ed. you already passed.
  • Amazon or eBay. You’ll have to set up an account if you don’t already have one, but if you think it’s worth the effort then give it a try.

I think the most important aspect of selling textbooks at the end of the semester is just getting rid of them. Once you reach that understanding with yourself, no small amount of money will surprise you. Or piss you off.

Now, please excuse me. I have $7.50 burning a hole in my pocket.

About the Author

Shawn Christ

I am a junior majoring in print journalism. I am American. I am a Lion.


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