By Alexandra Diantgikis, Staff Writer
When you’re in a literature course that requires twelve books, a trip to the used bookstore is a must. Not only will it save you a bundle, but also I personally find it to be a great adventure.
Wandering through a bookstore and browsing the shelves is enough to put any avid reader in a good mood, but when the books are nearly seventy percent off, book collectors of all kinds are ecstatic.
There are no restrictions. There is no guilt in purchasing eight books when you’re currently reading three and have a small mountain of unread books back at home. There is a certainty that this sentence will be uttered if not to anyone but yourself: “They are all so cheap!”
I say go for it. Indulge. You can never have too many books. But there is some strategy to finding the right ones.
If I’m browsing through the shelves and happen across a book I’ve wanted, I usually grab the one that looks to be in the best condition. Despite the fact many used books contain marginal writing, dog-eared pages, and underlining, I welcome those charismatic touches. I feel it gives the book character.
You can tell how many people owned the book before you, what they thought at certain times, and what kind of life the book has had. Sometimes comments are insightful and make you consider the text in a way you hadn’t before. Sometimes they are absolute rubbish and you get to argue with the commenter. But you enter a kind of discourse with the book’s past owners – a weird sort of book club.
Used books have this other element that a new book can’t compete with. They have a past and story to tell other than just the text on the page.
By Kimberly Clark, Science Tuesday Editor
With the semester coming to a close and with finals just around the corner, it’s finally time to crack open your books and actually read them.
Or you could try this science trick instead. It’s up to you.
I’ll admit it. I was a disbeliever at first. So, of course, I did as any good science nerd would and carried out an experiment. I pulled out my anthropology and writing books, dusted them off a bit and followed the directions on the video.
And, to my amazement, it worked. It was hands down the best use of my books to date. Even my roommate got in on the fun and tried to help me pull the books apart.
We were unsuccessful.
So what’s the secret behind this trick?
Any good physics enthusiast would know that the answer is friction. In case you have forgotten what you learned in your high school physics class, friction is a force between two objects that opposes motion.
A car will stop when the driver presses on the brakes because of the friction between the brakes and the wheels. If the road is wet, the car will slide a bit before coming to a complete stop because the wet surface is smoother than a dry surface which means less friction.
But don’t get me wrong, liquids and gases do offer some friction. Think about a boat gliding through the waves or an airplane soaring in the sky.
In the case of my anthropology and writing books, the pages of the two books rubbed against each other to create enough friction to keep me and roommate from pulling the books apart. Keep in mind that the friction between only two sheets of paper is basically nonexistent. So when you try this trick for yourself, make sure you interleave as many pages as possible.
Then do as the man in the video says, and you can even bet someone money that he or she cannot pull the books apart. Then go buy yourself something nice.