You may have heard that the California Senate is trying to start an initiative that would eliminate physical textbooks for college. He wants to create e-textbooks for some of the most common courses in college so that students can cut back on their tuition costs. This will help a majority of parents since they’re usually the ones paying for college, but I think they’re ignoring all of the drawbacks that come with it. For instance:
1. Eliminates the Need for the Textbook Black Market
Some students make a lot of money working the Textbook Black Market. There used to be an art to waiting until the end of the semester, and low-balling people for their textbooks that they couldn’t sell back to the bookstore, and then selling them back to other kids at a high price when the bookstore ran out of used copies. That used to be beer money for an entire month! You can’t sell people the URL to a website, that just doesn’t work. Now I’ll have to find a real job. THANKS.
2. No More Buying Books with Your Parent’s Credit Card, Then Selling Them Back for Cash
This trick was amazing. Your parents drop $500-$900 on textbooks, and sure they’re angry about it, but around the end of the semester they don’t even remember anymore. When you walk down to the bookstore and sell your books for cash, you were able to walk out of there with like $300. You could pay off your roommate for all that weed you “borrowed,” finally eat something other than Smarties Cereal (it’s just Smarties candy in a bowl with milk…I was that poor), and maybe even take your girl out for one last date before you tell her that you need to take a break for the vacation since you’re going to be so far away from each other. No more of any of that.
3. Nerds Won’t Be Able to Get Ass by Lending Their Textbooks with Notes to Hot Girls
There used to be no greater time to be a nerd than that moment when all of your note-taking and margin-writing paid off; when that blonde in the row ahead of you with a fine ass asked if she could come over for a last-minute study party. Now that everybody is going to be using the same free textbook, they can just Google smarter people who have better interpretations of the text. Good job, leader of the California senate! You’re effectively cock-blocking all of the smart kids in college!
4. No More Fixing Furniture with Textbooks
If a small table broke, or a chair was wobbly, you could just slip some books underneath a leg and everything would be fixed. If all of these textbooks are now put online, what do they expect us to do? Slide our laptops underneath our broken furniture? Fuck that. Also, those books were a decoration and they made a statement. Using Tolstoy to prop up my coffee table was not only a conversation piece, but it was the perfect height to keep it balanced.