Using secret money makes buying textbooks easy!

Chris Slattery

The week that classes start is always a favorite amongst college students. Not only do we get to sit through hours of lectures regarding identical syllabuses that (ironically) go in depth about the consequences of plagiarism, but we also get to play the fun game of “Who Will I Not Regret Meeting in This Class?”

Perhaps the greatest part about returning to Grand Valley State University, though, is purchasing textbooks. Some of us could not wait to obtain these vessels of knowledge and likely are already finished with shopping. That’s super.

Personally, I am holding off, though not because used books are still readily available and professors occasionally drop textbooks from their curriculum last-minute. Instead, my lingering is because the thrill of a pending mass-purchase is one of the very few pleasures I have in this life.

The biggest reason college students love buying textbooks is not because we spend our days texting books (lolz), but rather because we enjoy spending money. Once we all apply for our Bridge Cards, our disposable income opens right up, and after spending hundreds of dollars a month on rent, utilities, insurance, gas, and wining and dining significant others, of course we still have piles of cash to splurge on class accessories.

Because, secretly, all college students are millionaires.

We have never told anyone this before out of the fear that corporations would take advantage of this fact, but it appears they have already found us out. How else would you explain the inflated prices of textbooks?

And it is this simple monetary fact that makes all of this okay. We love spending absurdly large amounts of dollars and cents that we didn’t even work hard to attain for material that could just as easily be shared online for free.

I mean, it’s not really learning if it doesn’t cost anything. That’s my motto. That’s also my reasoning behind slipping each of my professors a crisp Benjamin after every lecture for doing such a bang-up job at the white board today.

So, really, there is motivation why McGraw-Hill would ever want to give their product away for free. Why put an easily-editable manuscript on the web when printing new editions every other year creates higher profits? We should be so happy — book buybacks are really challenging when books are taken out of the equation.

And putting a textbook available on a Kindle? Don’t make us laugh. The Kindle is such a passing fad, much like the Internet (just give it a couple of years). No one is really going to want to lug around something half the size of an iPad that could potentially hold every textbook a student will ever need. Talk about tedious. We can barely keep thousands of albums on our Zunes (because we are both Macs and PCs here at GVSU).

We plan to make the most out of this week, and if that means throwing wads of cash at textbook suppliers, we are so game. After all, what else are we going to use as paperweights for all these new syllabuses?

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