Textbooks are too expensive! Financially conscious students write their own

Siobhan Nerz, Senior Writer

Welcome back, Bucknellians. As students settle into their new classes, many endure the dreaded struggle to obtain textbooks. Seasoned students know not to shop at the Bucknell bookstore as it is notorious for its outrageous prices. As a result, many thrifty Bucknellians buy books second hand. 

Buster Wallet ’24 said, “My first year, I got swindled into giving a bookstore worker all my dining dollars. Now, I just buy books from secondhand sites.” Many students find Buster’s experience all too relatable. 

While experienced Bucknellians know to avoid the downtown bookstore, newcomers continue to fall into the trap of buying overpriced books. Some students even went into debt this semester. Naïve and unsuspecting first year Sutten Labor ’26, didn’t read the contract she signed when she bought her Econ 101 textbook. Now, she is legally obligated to mop the floors of the bookstore every Monday until she graduates.

In retaliation to the bookstore, financially conscious students are writing their own textbooks for their courses. Chip Skate ’23, wrote his electrical engineering textbook. While the cover looks like the actual required book, Chip’s version contains the full script of the beloved Pixar film “Monsters Inc.” Local Lewisburg families have reported Chip for scaring children at the park. After believing “Monsters Inc.” to be fact, no wonder Chip thinks electricity comes from children’s screams. 

Following the lead of Chip, Shasha Shaver ’24 wrote her own Calc 1 textbook. The book solely consists of Khan Academy articles. Unexpectedly, Shaver finds her book better than the required text as it is more straightforward and easier to read. 

Classics major Ida Hero ’25 is reading the Percy Jackson series instead of her required books. As a result of her reading, Hero often leaves class early to battle “monsters” in the laundry room of Swartz. Although Ida is convinced of her heroic feats, other students believe the strange rumbling is caused by first-years breaking the laundry machines. 

Other students seek to make money by writing and selling their own textbooks. After taking a semester of Italian 101, first year student Robin Banks ’26 is selling her book to other first year students. Her book mainly consists of Italian recipes and quotes from “The Godfather.” Due to Robin’s minimal grasp on Italian, her book did not reach her intended audience of students. Instead her work is circulating among cooking enthusiasts and fans of “The Godfather.”

Furthermore, history students are reading transcripts of John Green’s “Crash Course” episodes instead of their required textbooks. No wonder professors are reporting an increased amount of joke cracking and sarcasm in class.

Overall, although one may expect students with homemade textbooks to struggle in class, these financially conscious students are astounding us all as they seem to be doing better than their peers who got their books from the bookstore.

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