Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Website Editor

A study led by the College Board estimates that most students pay approximately $1,200 annually on textbooks.  Frankly, that is a lot of money, and causes many students to wonder whether these textbooks are truly needed or not.

This may come as a surprise to many of my professors, but rarely do I buy textbooks for my classes.

Before jumping to conclusions, let me explain myself. I do not learn from reading, I am a hands on learner who learns from in-class work, discussions and visual models. Reading a textbook is the equivalent of smashing my head against my computer screen and calling it studying.

Now that we have gotten this out of the way, here are honest reasons why you shouldn’t buy textbooks either:

First off, nothing is more frustrating than buying a $120 textbook only to use it for a lone chapter, and then it is used to collect dust on your bookshelf.

Hundreds of students’ hard-earned dollars have been wasted buying unused textbooks. Just this year, three of the textbooks I actually bought were actually used, and the rest I never bothered reading.

Secondly, our tuition pays for our classes, which allows our professors to teach. I am interested in learning from my professors’ wisdom and teachings, it is why I chose to take classes with them. If I wanted to learn everything from a textbook, I would drop out and use my tuition money to buy the textbooks.

And finally, not everyone can afford expensive textbooks. I find it more beneficial to buy a month’s worth of groceries than purchasing the never-used textbook for our Core classes.

Let me repeat the earlier statistic: most students pay approximately $1,200 annually on textbooks. How is this okay? Not only do I have to scrounge up money to pay for tuition, but I have to spend hundreds on useless textbooks?

While there are many reasons as to why you shouldn’t buy textbooks, I will be the first to admit that choosing not to purchase a textbook can be risky. Some professors do not cover all the material in lecture, and it’s hard to get a full transcription of the day’s lesson. Textbooks are a necessity if professors assign homework from the book.

My advice: do your research about the class before spending an awful amount of money on a textbook you may never use again. Additionally, before completely ditching the textbook lifestyle, consider swapping books with a fellow student or other cheap alternatives.