I hope everyone is having a nice, long weekend! The first week of the semester is always a bit trying so its great to have an extra day off to recuperate.
At the beginning of first semester, I wrote an article for my column in the Xavierite regarding college textbooks and the purchasing and “buy back” process. Since my freshman year of college, I’ve spent a great deal of money on textbooks (some that I barely used) and received very little in return when it came time to sell at the end of the semester.
This semester I resolved to try something a little different. Previously, I had looked at my course syllabus ahead of time, determined the required textbooks and ordered them well before the start date of the course so I knew I would be prepared and have all of the necessary materials. However, that system proved to cost me a little too much money in the end with some textbooks costing between $20 and $200 and rarely being used throughout the course. I also found that when I tried to sell them back to companies like Follett (the company that runs Saint Xavier’s bookstore) I would receive less than half of the price I bought it at, regardless of the book’s nearly new condition and many textbooks were simply not accepted because they were no longer being used by enough universities.
So, this semester I didn’t buy any books before my arrival back on campus for spring semester. I decided to just wait and see what I ACTUALLY needed before I made any purchases. So far I would say my experiment is going O.K. I’ll admit its a little stressful to feel as though you might not have momentary access to all the information you need for your courses so I’ve cracked and bought a few of the books that I think will be necessary, but others I have left on the shelves until I’m certain the course will require them.
I am currently looking into other textbook buying and renting options, using the library’s copy of the book (if they have it) or trying to find free or cheaper information online. At the end of the day, like many college students, I simply can’t afford all the textbooks I need. I am curious to see what other students do to help lessen the cost of their books each semester. So if you’re a current or former college student reading this post, help me out!