Keep your textbooks in a backpack to protect them. (Photo by Kenneth Lu)

When you spend so much money on your college textbooks, there should be one main priority about how you handle them. That priority is to protect your books. Not only does this mean keeping them in good condition for future purposes, but also it means keeping them safe from potential thieves with bad intentions.

Protecting your textbooks from harm can be done in several ways. One option is to invest in some textbook covers. Many of these covers are made of plastic and slide right over the front and back of the book to ensure it remains unharmed. Textbook covers are cheap, especially when compared to the actual prices of books, and many are available at college bookstores or your local Wal-Mart. If you aren’t into using covers for your books, the most important thing to do is to make sure your books are out of harm’s way. Keep them in a backpack when walking to and from class. Keep them away from food or beverages that could mess them up. Handle them with care and don’t flip through the pages too quickly because many books contain pages that are thin and delicate. Also, remember that there are some nasty people out there who actively seek out textbooks to steal in order to resell them and make money. Keep your books out of these individuals’ hands by knowing where they are at all times.

There are two basic reasons to keep textbooks protected because of future purposes – to resell the book or to return it if it’s a rental. If you plan to resell your used textbooks to get back some of the cash you spent on them in the first place, you don’t want to be offering books to potential buyers that are in bad condition. Nobody wants to buy a book that is full of highlighting with stains, ripped pages, and a cover that’s falling apart. And it doesn’t matter how cheap you may be selling it for. Plus most bookstores will only buy back your used books if they meet certain critera in terms of their condition. Additionally, if you rent your books from a bookstore or an online service, you’ll have to return them in a fashion that represents what they originally looked like when you got them. If there is a drastic difference, you could face some fees that will be tacked on to what you spent to rent them in the beginning.

After comparing prices on your textbooks using and then buying your books, remember to protect them as much as you can for these reasons. There is nothing worse than spending $150 on a textbook and then having to buy another copy of it because you didn’t take care of it. When your upcoming exam is around the corner, the last thing you want to do is have to quickly get a new copy in order to study for it.