Why You Shouldn’t Buy Textbooks Before Class #1

By Kylie Exline on February 26, 2017

There are a lot of things that you should probably get done before your first day of class, like reading the syllabus, knowing what the course is, and whether you will have time for a quick snack in between classes. You know, the essentials.

Something I would strongly recommend not doing is purchasing your class textbooks before you even meet your professor. It just creates a whole lot of trouble and I am positive that none of us want nor need that in our lives.

To discover various reasons as to why you should not buy textbooks before your first day of class, continue reading below and do not be afraid to tell your friends.

You might drop/add classes

For many of us, we do not necessarily always fall in love with our professors. They can be boring, overbearing, or just not our style. When this happens, we usually will drop and add another class with a professor we prefer or a time that better suits us. If this is the case, then why would we buy their textbooks already?


There is absolutely no need to own a textbook that we do not need. Unless you spend your free time reading those kinds of things, but I assume that is not the case here, especially given that textbooks can be pretty expensive.

When you drop a class, it is not even certain that you will be required to purchase the same book for the course that you add. Some professors do not teach from a book and others may just want an entirely different one. Save yourself the hassle and wait to see if you even like the teacher.

You might not need the book

The thing with textbooks is that you may not even need them. I know, it is a crazy concept. Why waste your time and money buying a book that will not be required? And I understand that the syllabus may state something else entirely, but it could be a mistake or just a recycled syllabus from a separate course or year. Better to wait it out.

Like mentioned before, there are professors that exist that do not like using textbooks. They could work better off of handouts, PowerPoints, or even their personal notes. If this is the case, you definitely would not need to show up the first day with the 20-pounder (I understand that this could be hyperbolic, but you get the point).

If you realize that you will not be required to buy the textbook, you should wait and find out what you will actually need for the class. It may be a different book altogether, an online publication, or nothing at all. Let’s just hope they have great teaching habits.

You can rent textbooks

Who wants to buy books when you can rent them? That is right, such a thing exists called renting, which saves you not only money but also the annoyance of having to keep a textbook you despise. All that you have to do is remember to return it at the end of the semester and you can forget all about it forever. Promise.

If you show up your first day with the textbook in hand and purchased, you may become very aggravated once the professor tells you that you can rent it from the local bookstore for a third of what you paid. That could have been beer money, guys.

Plus, by renting, you are still giving yourself the option of buying if you enjoy the textbook that much. Sometimes a book just makes you feel a certain way and there is no shame in that. It is never a bad thing to rent before you own — just ask your parents that one.

You can share textbooks

This one may seem foreign to some of you, but it is always a good thing when sharing is involved. Well, for the most part, that is. No need to buy a textbook when you know someone already has it. For instance, you may find a friend in class and decide to split the cost of the textbook which helps out everyone in this case.

And better yet, you may already know someone who has taken the class and bought the book themselves so you can just borrow it from them free of charge — if they are that good of a friend at least. Just ask around and you never know what you may find.

There is also this thing called a library where you can rent your textbooks and share them with classmates when you need them or in order to write a paper. Sharing is caring, especially when you are saving moolah.

Though some of you like to be overly prepared for your first day of classes, that does not necessarily mean that you need to have the textbooks front and center. You should not buy your textbooks prior to having class; the thing is that you may drop the class, the book may not be required by the professor, you can always rent them, and sharing is an option. By just waiting until the first day, you will be saving yourself time, money, and the excuse of not having to do your homework just yet.

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