Colleen Calls It: Textbooks drain bank accounts
“That’ll be $321.60. Would you like a bag for these textbooks?”
This is a common phrase (or some variation of) that students hear during the first week of classes.
This phrase will ruin your mood, overdraw your bank account and generally make your eye twitch every time you pass Bookholders for the rest of the semester.
Purchasing textbooks is my least favorite beginning of the semester activity.
There are a few things that make me laugh during this time, but they also kind of irritate me.
For one, there are always students who go into the bookstore and say to the shopkeeper “I’m here for a book.” OK, Captain Obvious, I’d place a bet that no one thought you were here to buy shoes. Then the helper says “for which class?” and the student says “math.” Right. The conversation continues until there is a line of 16 people who are all probably about to ask the same silly questions.
Then the student finally receives his textbook and notices the price. “$200 oh my goodness, my, that is so expensive… I hate buying textbooks.”
Then he proceeds to call his parents to get their credit card number while the line of 16 turns into 20.
I’m sorry, I thought this was a grab-and-go procedure, but maybe while you’re on the phone with your parents I’ll call my bank to ask them to remove the overdraft fee that is about to be on my account.
At the end of checkout, the cashier says to the student “We also do sell-backs. You can get cash for your books at the end of the semester.”
The student looks relieved, if only for a second. If I wasn’t so annoyed that the procedure took so long, I would translate this message for him.
What the cashier meant to say was “You could pay a month’s rent with the money you spent today, but don’t worry, you’ll definitely be able to buy a small frappé with the money we’ll give you in December.”
Book shopping is always draining, but it isn’t a total waste. Especially since afterwards, not only do you have textbooks that you will probably only use once, you usually receive a free T-shirt. Excuse me, Book Exchange, do you know how many T-shirts I could buy with the money I just spent on one textbook? Thanks though, I’ll add it to my collection of Towson Book Exchange memorabilia.
To add insult to injury, bookstores typically provide a small snack for you on your way out, like popcorn or bagged chips.
I’m not sure if it’s their way of saying “Thanks, come again” but to me it really feels more like an “eat this because you probably won’t be able to afford food for a while” type of gesture.
Textbook shopping sucks.
It’s the one hatred that Towson Students of every class standing share.
It feels like getting robbed and walking away with a t-shirt and bag of Lays potato chips.
But we can still have fun complaining about the outrageous prices and the consolation prizes that retailers try to offer us. It is laughable. And I’m witty and gorgeous, but what else is new?
Until next time, Towson! I look forward to hearing your feedback!