Running out of Shelf Space: What to Do with Old Textbooks and Notes

Pierce StudyingPaying for textbooks can be a hassle, but sometimes figuring out what to do with them after the class is over can become even more problematic. It can also be hard to throw away all of the notes that took so much time and effort to create. Old textbooks and notes may be relevant only to the class they were for, but they may also continue to be relevant once the class is over. Making back a few of the dollars that you spent on books by selling them might be the best thing for you to do, but you could end up helping yourself or others by saving your old textbooks and notes.

Whenever I go into my professors’ offices I am amazed by and envious of their massive personal libraries. Each of them owns shelves and shelves of books filled with information that they have read or referenced. Many of them have also saved many of their notebooks from when they were in school so that they can look back at what they have learned over the years and re-familiarize themselves with old but relevant course material. To me, amassing a collection like this seems like a valuable thing to do. I would advise saving textbooks and notes that have something to do with the field in which you plan on having a career so that you can start making your own collection. Since I intend to become a theology professor I have started saving my theology textbooks instead of selling them, and I began filing away the notes from my theology classes instead of throwing them away. I hope to have a personal library as large as the ones that my professors have one day.

Many classes will have nothing to do with your projected career path, so the notes and textbooks from those classes will lose relevance after the classes are over. For classes such as these, you may want to consider renting the required texts. If you do end up buying the textbooks, selling them will probably be the best thing for you to do. You can make a quick and effortless few dollars by selling your books back to the school store, but this option will bring in the least amount of money. If you are willing to put some extra effort into it, you can make more money by selling the books to students that will take the classes in future semesters.  You will have to do more asking around, but it is worth the extra profit. I would advise charging a little less than the asking price on Amazon or Ebay. I have had some success with this, but there are still some books that I have not been able to find buyers for. If finding student buyers fails, selling the books back to the school store always remains as an option. As for notes, instead of trashing them, you can save them and give them to friends that take the class later on to help them study, especially during finals.

There are a lot of factors to consider both before and after buying textbooks and taking notes. Because of the large sums of money that are spent on textbooks and the huge amount of time spent on taking notes, what to do with these things is an important decision. With some planning, some effort, and some common sense, you can make the most out of your old textbooks and notes.

Pierce VanDunk

About Pierce VanDunk

I'm a Junior at Nyack College studying Bible and Theology. I love Jesus, which is why I want to be a Bible professor; my goal is to learn as much as I can about Him and teach others what I learn. My favorite teams are the Mets, Celtics, and Cowboys (don't hate me New Yorkers!). I also enjoy playing guitar and reading. Connect with Pierce on Google+
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