Burden of books: shelling out money

UND bookstore. File photo.

I find myself complaining one way or another about buying textbooks for classes: They cost too much money, online ordering doesn’t have all the books I need and there aren’t enough copies of books for the number of students, the lines in the bookstore are too long.

Unfortunately, this semester has got to be the worst experience so far.

At the beginning of each semester as soon as books are available through Campus Connection, I make the cautious choice to go immediately to the bookstore and buy all my books before students who don’t live in Grand Forks make their way back.

Typically, this decision saves me time and the hassle of fighting over books. However, this semester was different. Five of the 16 books I needed were already sold out or on backorder.

Upon finding this information out, I gather the 11 books that are pouring out of my arms and go to the registers. The black line cordons are already up, but it was 4:45 p.m. on a Sunday, there were only a few people in front of me so I didn’t have to deal with the line.

The nice lady rings up my order and the total comes to $411. 42, thanks to my Spanish book costing close to $300 alone. And I still have five more books to purchase.

I made the choice not to rent because then I can still return the books before the last day. Returning them is the only savings I’ve ever received when buying a textbook. Thank the Lord for teachers who don’t require the textbook and tell you before the cut off date. (Which is Jan. 20, for any other student’s information).

On Tuesday, the bookstore finally got my last five books in. Seeing as Tuesday was the first day for full classes I had to wait in line to get them.

Thankfully, I had two hours until my next class, so I spent 45 minutes of that time skimming the cheap stuff the bookstore sneakily puts next to the line where students wait. Once I got to the beginning of the line I ended up purchasing more than books, thanks to the clever placement of cheap items that poor college students can essentially afford.

The last five books I purchased set me over $600 — the most I ever spent on textbooks.

Sadly, this outrageous purchase of confined knowledge left me an even poorer college student than I was before.

Thankfully, this sorrow will go away.

That is, until buyback season rolls around in May and the bookstore refuses to buy my books back, leaving me with $600 worth of textbooks that I possibly will never pick up again.

Misti Meads is the features editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].