What to do with the Books

As an undergraduate I got in the habit of not selling my books back at the end of a term.  I figured they’d be good references for future classes.  Indeed, just the other day I grabbed by engineering economics book to look up the basic time value of money formula to figure out student loan interest.  There was never any money in selling back books.  What cost me $100 or more would earn me back pennies on the dollar.  Plus, they looked impressive as they gathered on my shelf.

You may have noticed I’m continuing the habit in law school.  But I’m having some doubts.  I think the money is better, around 50% retained value for some books.  The bigger reason is because if I have a question next year or sometime in the future about, say, contract consideration, I’m probably not going to pick up my casebook.  I would turn to my course outline or a current hornbook.  I wouldn’t want to trudge through a bunch of cases again, cases that become less current every day, and attempt to distill a legal principle again.  I’ll just want the answer.

Something for me to ponder…


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