Renting College Textbooks- It's a scam

Posted by Alyssa 5 years, 2 months ago to Education
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So I am new to this and someone please inform me if I am doing this wrong, but I needed to tell this to someone and I knew that you guys would get it.

So I decided to rent my one college textbook for this semester thinking that it would save me some money (which, I will add, it is). Little did I put much thought into the fact that other people will be receiving this book when I return it to the bookstore that I put MY work into. Are college's almost scamming us into sharing our own hard work with one another when we rent textbooks? They encourage you to rent books that you will not need past one semester in order to save money. But they know that next semester they will be able to hand your book, that has all of your work in it already, to Joe Shmo. However, this isn't even the sad part: the sad part is that when students receive used textbooks, the first thing they look for is if someone wrote in the book and highlighted so they can use the previous owner's work to finish their work. What are colleges turning students into? Are they teaching us not to work for our own good and rather rely on what they previous person wrote to be true? Some of you may say, "Well just buy your book from the bookstore."- it's not that easy. We are only given a limited amount of time to buy back rented books to own them and I have missed that time period.

Sorry to kind of go off on this, but I knew none of my college friends would listen to me and get what I am saying because they do what everyone else does- look for work that is already in the book. What I have concluded I will do with my book: I'll just write "Who is John Galt?" on a page I highlighted on and hopefully the next owner will look it up and see my irritation.


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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 2 months ago

    1. I wouldn't trust an unknown someone elses notes.
    2. I am here to learn, and I do that best by doing it myself.
    3. When I went to college, I tried to get the textbook from the university library (for courses I didn't want the book, at least), and often was able to keep it the entire quarter because everyone else had already bought one. Otherwise I usually bought used if available and sold them back at end of quarter. Obviously, I didn't highlight my books. I made my own notes using an ancient technology, notebook paper. I still do that sometimes today when learning new things because I learn it more successfully.
    You should do what works best for you, of course. ;^)
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  • Posted by khalling 5 years, 2 months ago
    I was always annoyed by those who highlight everything. It's like they highlight to try to get their brain to connect to the page. Maybe says more about a textbook than the highlighter :)
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 2 months ago
    My daughter is renting a textbook for the first time and not writing in it, so that she doesn't have to buy it.

    As for writing WIJG on a page, I would recommend the ever-handy WIJG Post-It Notes that I got not long before the AS3 movie.

    By the way, someone like you should be coming to my university (Florida Tech) to get an education worthy of Patrick Henry University graduates.
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  • Posted by ewv 5 years, 2 months ago
    For your own benefit you should buy and keep your textbooks, as well as alternate references for the same courses and whether or not assigned. This allows you to make relevant notes of your own of any kind tied directly to the text, with all of it immediately available as a reference in the future both to refresh your memory from familiar sources and to go back and review (and sometimes question) the basis of your understanding. This is a matter of investment in your own knowledge, not a matter of cutting costs on books as if they had no meaning beyond temporary pulp fiction.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 2 months ago
    I never believed this when I was in school, but I treasure my textbooks. It's not b/c they're so amazingly good but rather that it's helpful sometimes to go back to the exact diagrams with my personal notes and highlighted from when I learned it in Circuits I 21 years ago. I could easy find the answer in web search, but there's something comforting about going back to where I first learned it, when I was learning the theory and not trying to get something working.
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  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 5 years, 2 months ago
    I would think that the notes made by one person would not necessarily be the ones you want. But as for sharing information -- isn't that what a textbook is? One or more people sharing information with others?
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    • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
      I guess I never really thought of it that way. My initial thought was that if I wrote down information to help me with a specific problem that someone would take that work and claim it as their own way of thinking.
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  • Posted by $ CBJ 5 years, 2 months ago
    I think buying a used textbook for the highlighting and notes would be nearly useless, unless the previous owner of the book took the course from the same teacher.
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