The 5 Stages of Buying Textbooks

I just spent $600 on textbooks and I only cried for 20 minutes.


Buying textbooks is the actual worst. I’m actually sitting here, writing this, trying to forget that I have hundreds of dollars of textbooks to buy. It happens every year, but it never gets any easier. Whether you’re buying new or used or renting, the whole process can be draining emotionally and monetarily. Here are the five stages of grief- I mean, buying textbooks.

1. Denial

Buying these books isn’t a thing that will go away, but it seems like, without fail, I’m ordering my books the day before classes start. I push it back and “forget” about it until the last possible second. I refuse to save money for it because “maybe my teachers won’t use textbooks this year.” That is of course, ridiculous because they almost always use the textbook. And they almost always want you to have it on the first day.

2. Anger

Then comes the stomping and yelling about how it’s so unreasonable for teachers to think we can afford textbooks and how bookstores are capitalizing off of our need for textbooks by pricing them at an astronomical amount. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent ranting about this injustice. The anger is so real when those dollar signs pop up in your Amazon cart.

3. Bargaining

Every year, I sit on my bed and beg the Lord to take this burden from me. I have also tried to make bargains with my parents so they will pay for the books, but I am always met with failure. No matter who I beg or how hard I bargain, I am still stuck with that massive purchase. It’s a hard reality that isn’t changing for anyone.

4. Depression

No one can be emotionally prepared for what it means to cough up that wad of cash for books they will never touch again. I have spent hours staring blankly at my computer screen as my shopping cart full of textbooks looks back at me. It’s disheartening. It’s hard enough to keep food in my fridge and soap in my shower. All of these things combined can give you the weepies.

5. Acceptance

Finally, you realize, textbooks are an inevitability. They are a means to your education and a necessary evil if you want to succeed in college. Besides that, when you think about it in the grand scheme of how much you’re already in debt, it feels almost not as bad.


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