A textbook may be the perfect companion along the professional journey and beyond.
Many get rid of their textbooks right away after completing their undergraduate studies. Certain either sell these course materials or give them away just at the end of the semester they needed them for. Textbooks would line up among cumbersome stuff, especially in a moving context, and some students would sell them for the sake of survivance. Although dealing with books may constitute a real puzzle, in particular when one does not own one’s dwelling place where one could establish a definitive personal library, I decided to face the challenge of keeping all my textbooks forever.
I feel bad every time I read through my school’s web application that students get rid of textbooks. They sell or give them for free. Those students are either already graduated from or graduating or continuing their school. Some pretext that they need money to buy new textbooks for other classes. Others affirm that they do not need them anymore as they have completed and passed the class in question. Some others suggest that the time they might need the current edition again it would be available in PDF format. And, there are those students who think that as a new edition is likely to be released soon, they have to bustle to dispose of it before it becomes obsolete.
To me, it is a mistake in any case. It is not certain that a PDF version will exist as authors and publishers now are making sure that their content is protected and unable for downloading. Certainly, a book black market exist on internet with the content is downloadable in exchange for a malicious device or even a virus. By the way, whatever the professional path students will engage in they will need their textbooks at last for two years after completing their undergraduate studies.
It is a fact that students hardly read half a textbook during a semester. My fellow students do not like to read. Few of us gather in an area on campus to read, share and build knowledge from our readings, unless coursework requires teamwork. I am a senior, and for two years I have been looking for partners either in reading or coding. Nobody reacted to my calls through the app. Not even those I approached personally, including students I share the same academic program with. Even in a teamwork, when it’s time to share about our takeaway from course materials, most team members, those who are able to be present, would wait for instruction than offering a contribution. Certain, at the final stage, do not know what the assignment is about.
Students are busy, so they do not have time to read during the college time. Most of us are working. This sounds normal as may of us are from the lower economical class or immigrant parents. Also, many college students arrived in the U.S by the time they entered to college, so they have to work to pay the tuition fees. Although Google search is a good help to new professionals as they will need to get assignments done on workplace, there is no better resource than a textbook when it comes to found professional works on a scientific basis or even troubleshooting. Textbooks are containers of research-based knowledge, which any intellectual activities can be based on.
I have kept my textbooks because I need them to catch up during break time, such as the Summertime. I usually took 5 – 6 six classes by semester to get me totally involved in my studies. That being said, I have been very busy, with extra-school activities and constraints added. I usually used breaktime to go back over my past assignments, consider where I failed or could do better, and compare with existing framework, which textbooks symbolize. Moreover, I need to complete the chapters that have not been covered during the last semester. This in fact is a process. It can be completed during the college time. Depending on the next destination and beyond, graduate schools or workplace or both, I want to make sure I absorb the materials my degree is founded on.
Moreover, when reading the introduction and summary of the textbooks we used in undergraduate schools, most of them project us towards graduate schools. Even though the master’s degree will stress on a specific angle of the field we come from in undergraduates, the textbooks that helped throughout our concentration period will still play an important role in superior studies. For instance, I do not need someone to tell me that I will need Carole Rich’s Writing and Reporting News in a graduate school of Journalism. If it will not be this one, it will be another one, but with similar content: the processes for collecting and presenting news across the mediatic world.
Web Design and Development is my concentration for my second major, and as an analog native, textbooks have been my main support materials over videos tutorials that replaced textbooks. No need to say that I will bring my Jennifer Robins’ Learning Web Design with me at a graduate school. And these books will still work on the workplace and help to keep on the righteousness or avoid uncontrolled skidding.
Beyond a career path, my book is an integral part of my life. Whether or not it has been required, I do not feel good getting rid of my textbooks. From the day I ordered a book it has been becoming a part of my universe. Once it feels a space in my bookshelf I want it there forever, even though it is specific to my career path. I will all the more keep it that the topic it is about is about one of the issues or topics of interest of the world I am living in. So, at any time I may need to produce a reflection or take position as part of the public opinion.
However, there are some reasons why I may separate from a textbook. The main one is that a student shows a need for it. But I can only lend it to them till the end of a semester as I did with two students last semester. I am happy that anything I own can help or contribute to someone else’s happiness. Unfortunately, textbooks are not for free for students. Knowledge has never been as marketed and sold as it is today. That is a shame!