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Sell or Save - College Textbooks

Updated on August 20, 2017

Should students and alumni hold on to their college textbooks?

Whether it is spring, summer or fall, colleges and universities semesters end and students and alumni have a chance to sell back their college textbooks. Students can all use some extra cash for any time of year and anything else they may need, so selling back their books is a practical idea and seems to be the most logical choice. They don’t believe that there is a reason to hold on to these books anymore and nowadays there are so many places on and off line that make it easy to sell back college textbooks.

College Textbooks
College Textbooks

But is selling back your textbooks really the best thing to do? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of keeping textbooks. You may think that they are only textbooks, there is really no value or reason to keep them, but holding on to your textbooks or even just certain textbooks could be beneficial to you. Benefits not just for your career but for personal use as well.

Should you keep your college textbooks or sell them back?

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I am one of those people that has kept 99.9 percent of her textbooks from college years and just recently, I used one of my textbooks for information that I had remembered was in one of those books. I also use the Internet, of course, but textbooks are another quick way of finding accurate information or an answer to your question.

I found that some of these books could be everyday reference material with information you may need right at your fingertips. A history or writers reference would be useful textbooks for quick answers to questions that are factual and remain accurate, as well as that language textbook you can revisit before traveling to your favorite island or country. So possibly keeping all or even some of your textbooks can be an asset to your home library. Nowadays you can even purchase e-textbooks and updates are available for these books to keep them revised.

On the other hand textbooks become outdated and pose some inaccuracy. Information changes so quickly and revisions are necessary, so a textbook can lose its place for knowledge. Technology textbooks change so quickly that the information becomes as obsolete as the equipment we use. The Internet is a more convenient choice most of the time and with all the mobile devices, it is a faster way to find the information that is needed.

To Keep or Not to Keep

Do you still use hardcover encyclopedias?

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So is it a matter of choice? Is there value in keeping your college textbooks? If you love paper books like I do, textbooks may be a must in your library, but if not, and they are just taking up space, cash back for textbooks would be the way to go. Well, possibly, it really is a personal choice whether to keep or sell your textbooks.

So, what do you think about encyclopedias? To keep or not to keep.



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    • CatsPage profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Spinola 

      5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Tammy, thanks for commenting! I appreciate your interest in my hub..!! Catherine

    • tammyswallow profile image


      5 years ago from North Carolina

      It always feels wrong to get rid of textbooks for some reason. I kept about three of mine, but I am not a keeper. Great thoughts!

    • CatsPage profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Spinola 

      5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      I am one of those people that has kept my textbooks. I majored in English too..!! My favorites are my History and English books as well, because history doesn't change and I still haven't read all the poetry or stories. Thanks for your comment Spongy..!

    • CatsPage profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Spinola 

      5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Good point to make Jim, I have heard from recent students that nowadays their textbooks barely make a semester before being revised..Now students are renting their books instead of buying them!

    • JimTxMiller profile image

      Jim Miller 

      5 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Give the set of encyclopedias to a starving student. She can use them to make book shelves! I sold back my textbooks as soon as I could, because I knew there were other starving students coming up behind me who needed every financial break they could get. Can't recall a single book I used that would not have gone out of date decades ago, so I do not miss them at all.

    • Spongy0llama profile image

      Jake Brannen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Interesting ideas. I agree that some types of textbook are better for keeping than others. I had a friend studying business and his textbooks would go out of date DURING the semester. I cashed in my intro psychology and sociology texts, but kept my history, German, and a lot of fiction and poetry from my English classes (that was my major).

      I miss my books terribly now that I'm back into regularly writing on HubPages. I'm on exchange to Germany right now and doing a lot of travel which gives me a lot of material to write, but sometimes I wish I could just leaf through my personal library for hub ideas.

      I found a nice option was to take my books to a used book store and put them up for store credit.


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