I gave a ton of books to the university library a few months ago, but I’m generally a very big fan of having a lot of books around. In response to an article saying students should keep their textbooks, I offer the following advice:
- Be on the lookout for textbooks at thrift stores. I’ve gotten tons of good books outside my field this way. Older editions can usually be had for pennies on the dollar.
- Wander among professors’ offices, especially at the end of the semester and double-especially if people are changing offices. This is when people do book purges, and you can probably find treasure troves of exam copies of textbooks in piles outside their offices. It’s a great way to build a cheap reference collection.
- Your library probably has a few shelves of books they’re selling. Sometimes, these are books they’re removing from the stacks. Other times, they’re books that were donated that they can’t use. You can find a lot of great stuff for next to nothing.