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What To Do With Those Useless Textbooks

January 4, 2011

For a college student, there are few terrors worse than learning that they are stuck with an expensive (and useless) textbook. We’ve all been there; after dropping $165 on a book which you opened maybe three times, you are told that it is an “old edition”, and that your $165 is now an absolute flush. Textbooks are not a good investment; there isn’t a “New York Textbook Exchange” filled with hundreds of suit wearing yuppies competing for the latest edition of Managerial Accounting. There is, however, a most fantastically easy method to avoid wasting so much money on such a terrible investment… rent textbooks instead. Picture it now: you save hundreds initially at the beginning of the semester, and then at the end of the semester, while all your friends are lined up at the bookstore stressed, you just throw your rented books in the mail and take a nap.

More than likely, however, you already have a few lifeless textbooks taking up space on your bookshelf, and textbook rental options can only fix your future textbook experience. Let’s be honest, it’s probably about time that you ditched them; It’s a new year, after all. And seeing as your future children probably could care less about inheriting a bunch of old textbooks when you die, it’s time to do something useful with those paper bricks. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Paper bouquet – It’s time to get your origami on. Green living is all the rage, and paper bouquets are ever-rising in popularity. Pull it out on Valentine’s, when a friends having a bad day, or sell it to a desperate chap who’s trying to impress a girl. Check out the Whether Paperworks Etsy page for some incredibly cool ideas.


Flip book – I used to make little flip books all the time when I was a kid, and a textbook is the perfect opportunity to jump on the flip book train once again. With several hundred pages to work with, you could make a minute long cartoon! As a bonus, film your production, ad music, and watch the YouTube hits roll in.


Self Defense – Textbooks are heavy, and pepper spray is expensive. Solve both problems by using your old textbooks as a self-defense tool. Picture it now: you are walking down the street, and out of nowhere a mugger swipes at your backpack. Well surprise, surprise, Mr. Mugger, because you are about feel the wrath of Intermediate Algebra, all 487 pages, upon your noggin.


Recycle – This is sort of the obvious option, but it’s good nevertheless. Have you ever looked at statistics about how many trees are cut down each year? The number is incomprehensible! Recycle your useless textbooks and do Mother Earth a favor; you will also help to make the paper industry a little less dependent on cutting down new trees.


Bonfire – I learned in Boy Scouts that the best way to start a fire is using old paper; what could be better than using several hundred papers conveniently bound together? Why not get a bunch of friends together and hold a good old fashion book burning. Sure, it’s not too environmentally friendly, but it does keep you warm. As a bonus, there is something incredibly satisfying about watching the book from an especially difficult course go up in flames.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 4:42 pm

    Fantastic, I love it! Especially the self defense option. What a fun creative way to get some use out of those old textbooks. Definitely posting on Tumblr.

    • January 12, 2011 10:26 am

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the post! Thanks for visiting, and be sure to visit often.

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