Student Opts for Cost-Effective Book-Buying Alternative: Burning Money

by Kim Rogers

USC BOOKSTORE — With the cost of textbooks on the rise, Hannah Jackson found a fiscally responsible alternative to buying books this year: burning her money. As a Sophomore business major, Jackson is no stranger to the economics of the USC Bookstore.

Last year, she spent nearly $1,000 on a series of hardbacks written by her Social Media and Digital Content professor. She later sold the same books unopened at the end of the semester for a Panda Express coupon and a gum wrapper.

“In the end, I’m burning less than I would spend buying my textbooks,” said Jackson, grinning over a smoking mound of benjamins. She then let another bill slip from her fingers and onto the flames, eyes dead.

Jackson isn’t alone. Many students are opting for the low-budget alternative to book buying.

“It’s amazing how cheap lighter fluid is these days!” said senior sociology major Kyle Mutch while snipping a stack of tens into a paper snowflake chain. “I’m saving money for after graduation, so I have to be very thrifty this semester.”

At press time, a ring of naked freshmen who’d actually bought their books huddled around Jackson’s fire for warmth, after literally having their clothes removed from their backs by bookstore employees.