(Opinion) Textbooks

There is no more hitting the books — summer 2018 is upon us! Now that school’s out and we’ve all had our “High School Musical 2” moment of realization that it’s summer, students are left with one pesky detail to take care of: textbooks. While you may not need your books anymore, there are many ways to get rid of them other than just throwing them out. In fact, you may even be able to earn a little cash back. I went through a few of these popular options and found some of the best ways to get those books off your hands.

Bookstore buybacks

Selling your books back to the on-campus University Bookstore or Volume Two Bookstore remains an available option for getting rid of textbooks you no longer need. They take most textbooks, whether they were purchased from them or not, and you get immediate cash back. According to the bookstores’ website, “You get paid for helping the environment and it also helps us provide used books for future students.” It is truly a win-win!

After selling a textbook through them, I learned that there are other options that may pay more, and not every book will be bought back, but the convenience of being able to sell them on campus and the ability to have cash in your hand is hard to beat.


BookHolders on Main Street is a great option for selling back books since it has two different ways to sell. The first and most immediate option is its Cash Now program, which gives you cash in hand for your books. While this is good for a quick buck, not all textbooks are accepted.

The second option for selling is the Advantage program. Any textbook you want to sell is sold by BookHolders for you, and you get “three times as much” using this method than with the Cash Now program, according to its website. The wait is longer but less work for you, and BookHolders will send you a check in the mail with your money. While the program is “free,” you only get 85 percent of the money back, which is still a pretty good deal since it will take textbooks in most conditions and sell a majority of its books. I’ve sold two of my textbooks through BookHolders, and I was not disappointed.


Your class’s Facebook page is for more than just finding a roommate and sharing events; selling your textbooks here gives you total control. You are able to set your price the way you want to, sell it to students in your class or other classes, and get your money in any way you’d like. There’s a lot of convenience with this too, because once you put up an ad, students looking for used books come right to you.

Make sure to list everything about your book that a buyer would want to know, such as highlighting in the book, any damage or missing pages, and if it is the newest edition. When you sell online, try to sell your book for what it’s really worth; if you bought it new and it’s gone through wear and tear, sell it at the used price.

Online resources

There are online options for selling textbooks other than eBay and Amazon. There are hundreds of websites like Belltower Books, BookFinder, BookScouter, and TextbookRush that want your books! These organizations outside of Blacksburg are looking for used textbooks, but seller beware: Always make sure to go through a legitimate and trusted company to avoid getting ripped off, losing money or dealing with a hassle. Also make sure to read the fine print and check your textbooks to see if they match the conditions listed by the website.


Feel like giving back? You can always donate your used books to places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, your local library or even thrift stores. Your fellow Hokies who may not be able to afford expensive new books will thank you for giving up the cash so that they can buy their books at an incredibly discounted price.

Go forth and sell! Summer is upon us, and your books are a haunting reminder of a hard semester or year’s work and assignments. Let the last time you carry those heavy things be when you drop them off and get sweet, sweet summer spending money!

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