August 09, 2011

Five Reasons I Hate College Books

Usually, when I ask someone what they hate about school, I get responses of the usual flavors: they hate a certain professor, or they hate a certain class. For me, if there's one thing I hate about college, it's buying books. Why? Because, if you've ever been to college, you know what buying books is like:

#5. College Books Are Expensive

So, you're finally going to college, or you're returning after summer, or what ever. You get your list of books and you see that some classes don't even require any reading material! Great! Except those two or three classes that do require books have costs upwards of $100 each.

You think to yourself: only fools pay the retail price!  I'm going to go to Amazon, or Half, or Newegg.  That actually might work, and for a few semesters, you might actually save quite a bit of money.  Trust me, I've done it before.  That feeling you get when you save over $300 on books is amazing.

I love the smell of saved money.

But then you hit that one semester, where all the required books are not only the most recent edition (which was printed a mere month before school started) but also ONLY available through the school.  Then you realize that the book was written by your professor and costs a whopping $200 used (which is just an estimate from your school, since they don't actually have any used).

#4.  Your Teacher Will Change Your Required Books

You've finally put up with the ass raping that was buying your books, only to find that a day after they've shipped from Amazon or whatever, your professor changed the required books -- you no longer need that expensive $200 book about Conflict in China, but now you need the equally expensive book China: A Conflict instead.

You figure you'll just return that expensive book you just got and get the new one. Easy, right?  Surprise!  No returns (or something equally awful).  But, you can always resell your college books, right? Which leads to my next point...

#3.  College Books Become Worthless

Unless your book actually has some useful information pertaining to your future career choice in it, you're most likely going to want to resell Shitty History of the Shiteenth Century.  Now it's your turn to rape the wallets of some other student by selling that $200 book for $190 -- figuring you're way smarter than those idiots that rented their books.

Guess what?  That is what every one else is thinking.  And anyone experienced in this field of economics realizes something quickly: you have to get rid of that book A. S. A. P.  So what happens?  Every one tries to undersell other sellers.

Funny story, I once purchased a book (which was written by my professor and cost $100 because it was newly printed) and figured I'd make my money back since the book was going to be required reading the next semester.  I was one of the first people to post it on Amazon for an understandable $80.  Some one quickly underpriced me with $70.  Then $60.  Then $50.  After two days of my initial submission the price dropped to an insane $0.01.  Ok, that wasn't so much funny as it was traumatizing.  I guess I should work on my story telling.

Turns out, a new edition of the book was to be printed for the next semester, thus, the price of the book fell to worthlessness.

The Germans of 1923 would have felt sorry for us.
#2.  One of Your Professors Will Require Tons of Books

While the ass raping price of some of these books can be taken in stride, some of your professors will require three or four books (and they will usually slide in one of the books they've written).  That's not that bad.  And it makes sense if it's a writing class or something similar.  However, its the prices of these books that I just hate.

Each book on its own is only $20-$40, and in some of those rare cases, up to $80.  But its when you're required to have 4 or more of these books that you really start feeling the hole in your wallet.  Suddenly, this class is forcing you to take out another loan just so you can get the required books.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "I'll just find someone in the class and mooch of their books." Or, "I have a friend in the class and we'll each by half the books."  You think you're so smart, don't you?  Huh?  HUH?! Every time I see my colleagues try to attempt such a thing, it blows up in their face.  You simply don't have the time to keep trying to share these books, especially when the class has that annoying, asshole assistant teacher who always assigns an essay for homework.

But still, requiring way to many books isn't worse than the last thing I hate about college books...

#1.  Oh, You Don't Need That One

"Oh, we won't actually be using that book."

One day, one of your professors will say that line.  And your blood will boil.  And you will dream of murdering a helpless animal.

It will happen.

All you can hope for is that your professor will say that during the first week of school, when you can still (hopefully) return your book.

But I know there are those of us out there who will get that absent minded professor who will realize that he will never use the required book months into the semester.

It turns out he wrote the book anyway.


Henry said...

I completely sympathize with you. I actually just sold back a book through Amazon. Shipped it out about an hour ago.

Lt Nite said...

"One day, one of your professors will say that line. And your blood will boil. And you will dream of murdering a helpless animal."

I died laughing at that line, but yeah I just bought all my books for college, and I'll tell ya I hated spending all that money.

Tim Swoboda said...

I was a day late in turning a textbook that I had rented. Those motherf'ers at BarnesandNoble felt like they should charge my cars $50 and just let me keep the book. What sucks is that I initially paid $30 bucks at the beginning of the semester to rent the book. Then I look at the price of the book and see that it was originally $60. Those assholes made a $20 profit off of my ass. Now I am stuck with a shitty ass book that is worth nothing more than $6.00 bucks.


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