Textbooks, the anti-buyback

I’m a student and a teacher, but thank God I’m not a student-teacher. One of the greatest things about studying Liberal Studies is that I’m learning all sorts of things about humanity that had previously never donned on me. I just finished my winter quarter and get a week break before my next class, the Human Condition, begins. My final paper was a brief comparison contrast of haiku and sonnets. Yup, there are a few similarities that will change your life but that’s for another blog post (I don’t want to blog about it tonight because I was up until midnight last night finishing the paper and then gave a presentation in class tonight. I no longer have words for the subject right now, but I will after a little rest. Amazing how that works.).

Before class I trooped over to the bookstore to sell back as many textbooks as possible. I’ve taken three classes now that required texts (over $100 worth total, which isn’t too bad) and I don’t particularly want to keep them. I walked in with a total of 5 books. She scanned the biggest book first. It’s an art book for the class I just finished. The bookstore sold used copies for $90, new for $120. I found it on half.com for $45. If I got $30 out of I would be thrilled. They didn’t take it though because there’s a new edition coming out. Anyone interested in art? The next book, a textbook on globalism, was also denied. The next two books were worth $2 and $1.25. I paid $8 a piece for them. The final book was from my research class last summer. I paid $20 for it and they gave me $10.50 for it. What a bargain! I bought Chipotle for dinner and asked the guy behind the counter if they free drinks to teachers. They did.

But back to books. I’m not too bothered by the slanderous markups of textbooks in themselves. It’s a racket anyway. Textbook companies come out with new editions frequently because it forces students to always upgrade, thus the need to always spend new money. Recycling (or reusing) goes by the wayside. I should start a textbook company with a middle finger as my logo. But I digress.

The bookstore should buy all books back if the student purchased them from the bookstore. This sounds like a rash emotion but really, I’m not so angry that my lines of vision are blurred. I would even be exempt from my own suggestion because I chose a website over the ol’ standby. Even if they gave me ten bucks for the art book, they could still sell it themselves online for $30 and still payback their losses. Students would more likely buy from them if they new they would be guaranteed something in return.

Instead, they say they don’t take it and everybody in line behind me nods and labels me as “that guy.” So I’ve got this pretty sweet paper weight…literally…it’s heavy. It’s got lots of pictures and even a few haiku. But the haiku are in Japanese and I don’t know Japanese…yet. So here’s to art, the Renaissance, Impressionism, and bookstores. I hope they don’t catch the clap from the textbook companies.


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