CampusOpinion

Marble Pedestal: Department used book sales

Hella books for hella cheap? Yes, please

Since I’ve delved deeper into my degree, I’ve picked up the habit of buying shitloads of books that I may or may not need. I buy them whenever the mood hits me.

Approximately half the books I have on my shelf I haven’t read. Do I want to read them? Absolutely. Will I ever read them? Maybe. Am I still going to buy new books at a faster rate than I can read my unread ones? Hell fucking yes.

In fact, at the time of writing this, I’m waiting on the arrival of four books I’ve ordered from Verso, one of my favourite publishers.

Because of this sick problem I have, I’m always incredibly happy when a department starts selling used books from old faculty members for absurdly low prices.

The history department will have these sales in the business atrium. Shelves of books from a wide variety of genres present themselves, and all books purchases are by donation. If you’re on a budget, this is an amazing place to find fiction, books on history (obviously), and many more awesome finds.

The English department regularly holds similar sales by the Humanities fishbowl, selling softcover books for one dollar, hardcovers and anthologies for two, and tote bags full of books for ten. If you can stuff 15 books into your tote, you still get it for ten dollars, which is the most beautiful steal I’ve ever had the chance of capitalizing on.

I’ve bought multiple totes from these sales in particular, and these are what make up a bunch of the unreads on my bookshelf.

While they do a lot of sitting on my shelf, these books aren’t totally useless. There’s been times I’ve been writing papers and a secondary source discusses what appears to be a really interesting and useful book. After some more thinking, a light bulb will go off in my head. I HAVE that book, I’ll think to myself, I bought it for a dollar a month ago. I leap to my shelf, crack open the tome in question, and my paper is all the stronger for it.

Do you have a book problem like me? Then indulge in these sales, support your department, and brag about all the books on your shelf you haven’t read. It feels so good to get great books for cheap.

Andrew McWhinney

Andrew McWhinney is a fifth-year English and political science combined honors student, as well as The Gateway's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. He was previously The Gateway's 2018-19 Opinion Editor. An aspiring journalist with too many opinions, he's a big fan of political theory, hip-hop, and being alive.

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