Textbooks: what’s next?

Alyssa Foley, Editor in Chief

If you bought your textbooks this semester, you have many options for what to do with them now that the semester is over.

Keep them.
Resist the urge to burn all your notes now that finals are over. If the book was for a class in your major or on a subject you are particularly interested in, consider keeping it for future reference.

Sell them.
If your book is in acceptable condition, you can sell your textbook.

For selling back, good condition means no broken spine or binding; no missing, torn or loose pages; no excessive writing, marking or highlighting; no stains or water damage; no burns or rips; and no other significant damage.

If your book passes the test, do some research to discover who will give you the most for your dearly-purchased books. The highest bidder may not be the campus bookstore.

  • Chegg is an online company that will instantly give you a quote here.
  • Amazon.com will also pay you for your textbooks here.
  • Barnes & Noble will also buy your textbooks. Check what they will give you here.

The quotes these companies will give you are only good for a few days. I discovered last winter break that their offers will fluctuate depending on when you try to sell. Immediately after finals their offers will be low, but right before the next semester begins is when they will have their highest offers.

If you want to be sure you’ll be actually be paid for your books, be sure to stick with reputable companies when selling online.

Give Them.
This is giving season. Instead of selling your textbooks, there are many places where you can donate your textbooks to help a student-in-need next semester. About 75 percent of respondents in our online poll said they have gone without a required textbook because it was too expensive.

  • HCC Central Student Government started a textbook lending library where students can borrow textbooks for free for the entire semester. Your textbook can help a fellow student next spring and beyond. Drop your books off at the Central Campus SGA office, in the Learning Hub-Science Building (LHSB), first floor room 115. (The Egalitarian previously highlighted their program.)
  • All Houston Community College libraries have textbook libraries where students can use textbooks for a few hours, but can’t take them out of the library. Your book would benefit the most students this way. You can donate your textbooks by dropping them off at your local college library’s circulation desk or book return box.
  • If you have a friend at school who will be taking a class you took, offer the book to them. You can be altruistic and lend them the book for free, or ask them to pay you at least half of what you paid for it.

These are all things I have personally tried. I have had success selling books back to Chegg. In some cases, I was able to get back about 80 percent of what I paid for them. I have never purchased from Chegg, but they will buy back your books anyways. I have also donated books to the Central SGA’s program, and left some in another campus library’s book drop-off boxes. I have keep books for myself, and lent them to other students. Whatever you choose to do, find something that works for you and the books you have.

Do you have any tips on what to do with your old textbooks? Share them in the comments below.