Let’s take a moment in remembrance of an old friend….

He’s been with us through thick and thin, through failures and some more failures. He’s had a hand in all our sorrows and, since I’m a dirty liar, some of our joys. Recall the sweet memories of going to school and paying exorbitant prices annually for his fickle aid. We thought once we graduated, we would never meet again and our fates had come to a bittersweet, but mostly, a joyous end.


Boy were we ever so wrong .

If you haven’t guessed by the subtle hints, gentle teases and glaring title, that I’m talking about textbooks then clearly you never met our friend very often. Textbooks have been a staple of education since Gutenburg and have survived tribulations from generations of angry students. So a simple shift, from high school to University, was never an issue.

As any freshman will discover within his first week, there are mandatory readings assigned for every subject, by every teacher, in every semester. They cost an arm, leg and your firstborn for a few pages. Don’t worry though, we’ll help you cut that down to a couple of fingers. It’s at this point that we need to differentiate between textbooks and Textbooks™.

The most important distinction would be that textbooks are your friends. Their only job is to be an optional tool and help you get some of those sweet grades into your system. Like a spoon for soup.

Now Textbooks™ are a different ball game. Like using a fork for the same soup, they technically get the job done but really; even nothing at all would be a better option. They’re generally overpriced and the author’s name is suspiciously similar to your professor’s.

So do you need them?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nooooooomaybe.

Bruh! If it is halfway through the semester and you are still photocopying chapter portions of your friend’s books (let us stop pretending like this is not happening)… then yes; they become important if your professors insist the books are mandatory and your assessments are pulled from them.

Yet still no, you don’t need to shell out your precious food money. There’s various ways to get over the preposterous prices and here I’ll mention just a few of them.


1.Avail a student discount from bookstores

2. Borrow from the library when needed

3. Split the cost and make copies…still shady AF! (Not advisable.)

4. Please do not do this either!

Most important of all however, is none of the above.

You don’t need to spend money or worse, step into the library.
There are resources online specifically for students that hoard all textbooks and hand them out for free like a benevolent nerdy Santa. Here’s a lil’ list.





(yes that guy…)


And, believe it or not, there’s many many more. Some options more obvious than others, matey.

Textbooks are an indispensable asset in a student’s armory, true, but textbooks that take advantage of a poor innocent student are as essential as attendance. Besides isn’t there an app for everything nowadays? If you still can’t find what you need just remember – there’s always next year.



23 years old writing whizz! with skills including pretending to work and procrastinating. In my free time,  I really enjoy avoiding responsibilities and panicking come D-day. An Alumnus of Manipal and now Middlesex doing an MSc in Digital Marketing Studied. I like learning new skills especially when I don’t have the time to…