Why I Swore Off Buying Assigned Books for My Classes

My fall semester of freshman year was pretty easy regarding textbook use. Meaning I could probably leaf through one book during the first week, before realizing that I could scrape by without using any textbooks for any of my classes. The books ended up lying on my desk doing absolutely nothing except collecting dust.

So picture this: Fall exam season in full swing, immense stress was coating the cold(ish) Charleston air, and I was lugging my rented and purchased books back to the bookstore, in attempts to get rid of them. Once I return the rental books, I head over to a small stand in the back of the bookstore that you could resell books back to.

Now is probably the time I should mention this: I spent $643.85 on books for the fall semester. Okay-- I know you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “how stupid can someone be to spend that much on books alone?”. But hear me out, I'm a freshman, and I was completely unaware of all the options that are available to purchase books for much, much cheaper.

Anyway, back to the stand. I hand the woman sitting there around 7 books, and she had begun to scan them to tell me what they were worth. You could not imagine the shock on my face as she counted off the numbers like “$7.60, $9.00, $.33,” and to my genuine horror, “this book is worthless.” Now, at that point, I was beyond angry, entirely over the fact that I felt scammed by the bookstore. Finally, when she handed me my grand total of $26.25, I left the store and immediately called my mom to complain for around an hour about how much money I lost in the transaction.

By then I had sworn off ever buying textbooks again.

However, I had come to a quick realization that as an English major, I am going to actually have to purchase books for some classes. Yet, this time I refused to buy my books from the book store, so I searched online for my books and only bought the ones I thought would be necessary.

So, no one needs to swear off textbooks. Just be smart about where you find them, and how much you pay for them.