Something old, something new, something borrowed, something used

Today I trekked to campus with a backpack filled with textbooks and engaged in one of the least satisfying parts of the academic year: selling back my textbooks. I was originally optimistic that I would be able to get some money back and clear some space of my overcrowded bookshelves — and yes I did both of these. However, my optimism was cancelled out as I piled them up on the counter and was told what I could get for them. I replied okay to each number, instead of saying are you kidding me, I paid ten times that new. Two of my textbooks, which I never so much as lifted the front cover on — I purchased them in the optimism of the beginning of semester before realizing that they would not be on the test — got me ten dollars despite coasting six or seven times that. The Discourse on Inequality by Rousseau was worth a grand total of $0.73 and The Prince was not even wanted at all.

As I go through this ritual — trying to get some money back and create a supply of used books for future students — I can’t help but feel that I have been had. How is it possible that these goods have lost so much value? Why am I so desperate for them to say yes they will take it? It is part of being a student, you accept it and take what you can get once you no longer need your textbooks. I just wonder if I can sell them back for so little why do they cost so much new?

What is your experience with selling textbooks?

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