Commentary: It’s okay to mark up your books.


Sometime in your college career one of your professors probably told you something about annotating your textbook. In case you’ve forgotten that means writing all over the thing, being an “active reader.” This doesn’t include highlighting. Highlighting sucks. Few people at best though actually do this.

I annotate the crap out of my books and rarely take notes on other paper. After paying hundreds for bound-paper why would I buy more to write on?

But I understand why so many people don’t annotate their text. You can’t sell a book that’s been scribbled all over, highlighted maybe, but not scribbled. I can’t ever sell my books back though, I haven’t for awhile. Selling books is one of the new college traditions that every young fish gets hooked into by the book stores. The end of every semester is marked by the lines of people selling their books. The bookstore even sets up a stand in the court yard. This new tradtion of lines of students, all selling back their education at a discounted rate, is stupid. Keep your books. Love your books. As a college student and someone seeking a higher education a book is invaluable. What is there really to gain from selling books? Some extra money to go blow on some crap to celebrate the end of the semester? What are you celebrating anyway that you need to sell your books back, the tools of your education, to pay for it? How many carpenters after completing a big job sells all their tools to pay for beers that night?

Now if the need for the money is for things such as bills or more books or anything that somehow pertains to actually educating yourself then more power to you. Otherwise you’re simply bankrupting yourself of the resources that are so important to a good education.