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Textbooks Begone: How to Put Cash Back in Your Pockets and Ease the Pain of Outrageous Book Prices

There are few things more frustrating than staring at a stack of expensive books that cost you hundreds of dollars and will probably never be opened again. But at the end of each semester, millions upon millions of college students across the country do just that.

The average college student spends over $1,200 a year on books and materials[1]. That’s an enormous amount of money, and with sky-high tuition fees, rent, and bills, very few college students can afford to blow that kind of cash on books that effectively become paperweights once the semester ends.

On-campus used bookstores might take your textbooks off your hands—if you’ve got the specific ones they’re looking for and they’re in perfect condition—but they’re going to offer you pennies on the dollar or, worse, put your book on consignment, forcing you to wait for payment until they sell (which may never happen).

Traditionally, there hasn’t been a good option for students looking to recoup their outrageous book costs. But now there is: TextbookCashback.com.

The easiest way to sell unwanted books

TextbookCashback.com is an online book buyback company that stands out because of how easy it is to get rid of your old books at a price that makes it worth your while. The site is incredibly easy to use, shipping is a breeze, and payment is extremely prompt.

All you have to do is type in the ISBN of the book you’re looking to sell, and the site will instantly provide you with the price they’re currently paying for that book. The site pays more for most books than the major competitors, and if you’re happy with the price, you simply print out the free USPS shipping label provided and drop your book in the mail. As soon as it arrives and is accepted, TextbookCashback.com will cut you a cheque or pay you instantly via PayPal.

The process is quick and painless, making it an ideal solution for students with stacks of unwanted books that could be money in the bank instead.

Wear and Tear? No Problem!

Used bookstores and other buyback services are extremely picky with what they’ll accept, often to the point of being unreasonable. It’s crazy to think a student hoping to resell their textbook at the end of the semester can’t jot a note on a page or highlight a passage, but that seems to be what a lot of companies expect.

At TextbookCashback.com things like minimal highlighting or writing, slight cover damage, and normal wear and tear are no problem. If your book is a valid US student edition, and on their current buy list, you’re good to go. Not all books are eligible for buyback at all times, but the list is constantly changing and updating, so even if they aren’t buying the book you’re trying to sell today, they might be soon.

Get Paid Quickly with Near-Zero Effort

Selling books on your own is a pain in the butt. Putting up a listing, negotiating a price, and arranging a pickup or delivery all take time and effort—assuming you can find a buyer at all. TextbookCashback.com removes all of that headache so that you can turn your books into cash as quickly as possible.

Once your books arrive, acceptance and payment are extremely fast. If you choose to be paid by check, your payment will hit the mail the next day and be at your door a week or so later. If you opt for PayPal, you’ll be paid instantly upon acceptance. The only work required of you is to print out the shipping labels and dump your books in the mail.

You can also rest assured that the amount on your check will be the amount you were quoted. Some book buyback companies have a bad reputation for quoting one price and then offering a lower amount once they’ve got your books in hand. Those kinds of shady practices give the whole industry a bad name, but with TextbookCashback.com what you see on the quote page is what you get.

If you’re like most college students and you’d rather have cash in your pocket than a stack of old, unwanted textbooks, you owe it to yourself to check out TextbookCashback.com. It only takes a few minutes to look up your books and if you like what you see, you’re only a few clicks away from reclaiming some of the hard earned money that outrageous textbook prices steal away from you every semester.

Go to www.TextbookCashback.com now and see how much money you can put back into your pockets today!

[1] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-the-soaring-cost-of-college-textbooks/

Sylvia Plath’s “Newly Discovered” College Story

January 22 marked the first American publication of Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: a story written by Sylvia Plath in 1952, while she was studying at Smith College.

For those of us who have found a worthy school companion in the esteemed poet, novelist and short-story writer, and have devoured everything from Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (1977) to Plath’s profound journals, this news is revolutionary.

For those who have yet to be informed that reading The Bell Jar (1963) is a rite-of-passage for all college students everywhere, this “newly discovered” text has since sparked an intriguing debate concerning the story’s mischaracterization.

First thing’s first…

Plath was born in 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. A gifted and ambitious writer, she attended Smith College and Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. In 1956, she entered into a troubled marriage with fellow poet Ted Hughes—the pair had two children before separating in 1962. Following a long history of clinical depression, Plath took her own life in 1963 at the age of 30. Many of her works have been published posthumously.

The story behind the story

Written when Plath was 20-years old, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom was penned as an assignment for her English 220 class, “Practice in Various Forms of Writing.” The story borrows the name of her high school friend.

Plath, who would later become one of the most revered poets of the 1900s, arranged for the prose to be sent to Mademoiselle magazine, where she had secured a coveted and infamous internship (seriously, read The Bell Jar), for potential publication. The story was rejected.

Plath edited the story, changing the title and ending among other significant parts of the work, but never submitted the draft for publication again. The newly published version is that of the original, rejected draft, which most believe to be the story’s best form.

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Never before published, this newly discovered story by literary legend Sylvia Plath stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman’s rebellion against convention and forceful taking control of her own life. . Written while Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman’s fateful train journey. . Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom goes on sale 1/22! Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies. See the link in our bio, or go here: https://ig.pgtb.me/ZqDkgP This sweepstakes ends 1/23/19 at 11:59pm EST. U.S. only. . . #sylviaplath #maryventuraandtheninthkingdom #comingsoon #bookstagram #bookish #igbooks #igreads #instabook #classicliterature #literature #shortstory #thebelljar #womenwriters

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What’s it about?

Mary Ventura follows a young woman—roughly the age Plath was when writing the story—as she reluctantly boards a train at her parent’s insistence.

Destination unknown, Mary finds herself reassured when she is seated next to a kind, older woman who is knitting a beautiful dress of green wool. Having made the journey before, the woman shows her around the luxurious train and invites her for a beverage. The bright garment she is knitting initiates a deliberate emphasis on colours and provides a visual, foreboding contrast to the darkening train and ominous red, grey and black scenery.

“Outside the picture window the orange sun was sinking in the gray west. It seemed smaller than when Mary had last looked at it, and the orange color was deepening into red.”

Indeed, halfway through the story Mary discovers that the train is actually “hurtling” towards the Ninth Kingdom, or “kingdom of frozen will”, and that no one else seems disturbed by this obvious but unspoken doom. Her companion eventually offers her an escape and Mary flees the train through a dark, snake-filled stairwell, up into a bright, summer city where she is received with love.

With Plath merely having referred to the story as a “vague symbolic tale”, the piece has been interpreted as an allegory for the ending of life, a nod to Dante’s Divine Comedy, and a discovery of female autonomy.

With full knowledge of Plath’s biography and the fact that she would attempt suicide for the first time the following summer, the story’s open-ended but urgent message seems undoubtedly significant.

“One can see why Mademoiselle magazine would have declined to publish such a nihilistic allegory, while also appreciating its rediscovery today”, wrote Claire Armitstead when The Guardian released an extract of the text.

Perfect timing

The US publication of Mary Ventura followed UK publisher Faber and Faber’s announcement that the story would be part of their 90th anniversary series of standalone short fiction titles. The media has since described the text as “newly discovered”, “recently discovered”, “lost”, “found”, “largely unseen”, and more to imply that Plath’s work has been freshly unearthed in some kind of treasure hunt. In the press release issued by HarperCollins, the story was promoted as a new find, unknown even to Plath’s estate.

As pointed out by Vulture, it’s “odd to imagine that any of her known work would not have been mined for publication. We can already read her senior thesis, her diaries, and her letters, and yet here’s a polished work we’ve never seen.”

In standard practice, this suspicion of the story’s lostness became the subject of a Twitter debate, until the truth was in fact confirmed.

“This story wasn’t ‘lost,’” Rebecca Baumann, Head of Public Services at IU Lilly Library wrote in a series of tweets.

“It is at @IULillyLibrary, where it is described in a detailed finding aid. It wasn’t ‘stumbled upon.’ It was given to the researcher by librarians.”

“Literally thousands of researchers have accessed this material, in our collections since the late 70s.”

“’Discovered’ in this story actually means the estate lifting their restrictions and allowing this to be published at a culturally opportunistic moment,” she added.

Following its rejection from Mademoiselle magazine, the story made its way to into Plath’s archives as an “open secret”—where it had been available for at least four decades.

It was there that the work was “stumbled upon” by the critic, academic and former classmate of Plath, Judith Glazer-Raymo. Raymo revealed that the text had appeared in auction in 2014, failed to sell, and that she had arranged to purchase the manuscript directly two years later.

Raymo included the work, along with the Mademoiselle rejection letter, in the Grolier Club’s 2017 exhibition: “This Is the Light of the Mind: Selections from the Sylvia Plath Collection of Judith G. Raymo.” She also approached Faber with scans of the piece.

With such a compelling history, any Plath devotee who’s college workload is perhaps slightly too heavy to allow time for a one hundredth re-reading of The Bell Jar, will be sure to relish a short story that offers a glimpse into the young writer’s enormous future.

However, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom is a student’s story, and it has its flaws. If you’re not committed to analysing Plath’s entire oeuvre, just read The Bell Jar. I beg you.

Further reading: Five Books About Climate Change You Need to Read Now

Five Books About Climate Change You Need to Read Now

Five Books About Climate Change You Need to Read Now

Whether you’re an eco-activist or not, it’s impossible to ignore the debate that has followed the most recent international climate report and a devastating slew of natural disasters.

Global warming should be a reality, not a controversy. If average global temperatures exceed just half a degree, the risk for major natural disasters will significantly increase.

If you want to understand the real facts behind the figures, put your energy into reading these five powerful books that promote awareness about climate change.

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, Elizabeth Rush

This poetic report about how rising sea levels are affecting American shorelines is compelling, relevant and accessible. The reality is that coastlines are disappearing and salt is causing devastation to essential habitats and those who live alongside them. Rush doesn’t just share her own personal discovery of the urgency of climate change, but interviews the experts and gives voices to the survivors of ravaged coastal communities all over the country. 

The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change, Charles Wohlforth

This fascinating text about climate change as it is seen in Northern Alaska is packed full of science that, while not oversimplified, is accessible and stimulating. In the far North, these issues and fears are no longer an abstract idea, but a reality that has drastically altered daily life. Wohlforth follows both a traditional Eskimo whale-hunting party as they race to shore near Barrow and a team of scientists on a quest to understand the snow. These different but intertwined groups must work out how best to survive while navigating the issue that is now bearing down upon us all.

The City Where We Once Lived, Eric Barnes

If you’re working up the courage to embrace hard-hitting non-fiction texts, Barnes’ dystopian novel will still pack a pretty loaded punch when it comes to the issue of climate change. In a near (and foreseeable) future, climate change has caused the crumbling North End of an unknown city to be abandoned by all but the scavengers, who are attempting to bury their memories of what was lost. Like the topic it discusses, this haunting story is purposefully an exhausting and depressing read, but it is also a rewarding one; one that forces you to look sharply at yourself and at humanity. 

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Amitav Ghosh

In his first major work of non-fiction, acclaimed Indian novelist Ghosh asks: “Are we deranged?” Certainly, we seem unable to grasp the sheer threat of climate change, and even more incapable of preventing it thus far. This literary text moves the conversation away from science and towards culture, politics and ethics, begging the reader to recognize the problem in being so unwilling to protect the future of life on Earth. The eerie relevance of this narrative realises the critical need to think about the unthinkable.

Below Freezing: Elegy for the Melting Planet, Donald Anderson

This ‘collage’ of ‘scientific fact, newspaper reports and excerpts from novels, short stories, nonfiction, history, creative nonfiction and poetry’, is both absorbing and informative. Anderson tackles the beauty and dangers of the cold, as well as the alarming rate at which our planet is warming in a meditated way that feels as serene as the conditions it explores.

Further reading: 12 Years to Halt Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns UN

10 Spooky Books to Read this Halloween

10 Spooky Books to Read this Halloween

Whilst I appreciate a good jump-scare horror film, nothing can quite beat the many nights spent reading Goosebumps by the light of a friend’s shaking torch that permeate my childhood memories. Stories have been used to scare us since the beginning of time and it’s chilling in itself to realize that just a few words on paper can stimulate a consuming sense of dread.

Halloween is the perfect time to curl up with one of these spooky books—just make sure to leave the lights on.

House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski

This dark tale is about a family who discover that their new home is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside—and so much more. Deserving of its cult following, the experimental novel immerses you to fumble blindly over color, footnotes, upside-down text and your own nightmares. The only spoiler that I can give is that the dedication page reads: “This is not for you.”

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

You may think you have exhausted your tolerance of haunted houses—that is until Shirley Jackson takes you to Hill House. This slow-burning psychological horror was the inspiration for the new 10-part Netflix series and tells the unnerving story of four strangers and their journey into the depths of Hill House. 

Bird Box, Josh Malerman

Interweaving the past and the present, this horror novel follows Malorie and her two young children as they flee to safety. The main problem is that something is outside, and glimpsing it has driven everyone to deathly violence. Blindfolded, Malorie is unable to see what’s following them.

Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn From the author of Gone Girl, comes an even-more-disturbing thriller. Reporter, Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls and is confronted by her own, twisted demons. If you’re triggered by cutting you should stay away from this one, though.

Pet Sematary, Stephen King 

It would have been rude not to include Stephen King on this list and Pet Sematary is frequently referenced as his scariest book. Set in rural Maine, the suspenseful, slow burning horror features the Creed family and their recent move to an idyllic home. When the family cat dies, they ignorantly bury it near an old pet cemetery. The ending of this one might just leave you too terrified to turn the page.

Silent Child, Sarah A. Denzil

In the summer of 2006, six-year-old Aiden fell into a river during a flood and drowned. His body was never recovered. Fast forward 10 years and when Aiden staggers out of the woods, injured and mute, his mother must attempt to reconnect with her son and figure out who took him.

Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane

Set in 1954, Shutter Island follows US Marshal Teddy Daniels as he arrives to investigate the disappearance of a patient at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The strange case exposes human experimentation, war tactics, a killer hurricane and a protagonist who is left as messed up, disoriented and desperate to figure out the mystery as you are.

The Grave Tender, Eliza Maxwell

This southern gothic suspense novel is beautifully written and haunting. When Hadley returns to her hometown—where she’d witnessed her mother set herself on fire—she discovers that her family is surrounded by dark secrets. This book deals with several forms of abuse and trigger warnings include: rape, incest, domestic abuse and child molestation.

The Last Time I Lied, Riley Sager

If you like to be kept guessing, this spooky mystery is for you. Emma remembers her days at Camp Nightingale, playing two truths and a lie with her friends—until they all went missing. When she is asked to return to the camp as a painting instructor, Emma discovers that all is not as it seems. Her past and present collide as she seeks to discover the truth.

Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel, A W Jantha

Did you know that Hocus Pocus the book and a brand new sequel were released in July this year? You’re welcome.

Further reading: The Most Haunted Universities in the World

Best Books to Read This Fall

Six of the Best Books to Read This Fall

Nothing screams fall quite like curling up in your cosiest pyjamas on the sofa before getting stuck into a good book. Here, we highlight the best books to read this fall.

Bitter Orange, Claire Fuller

Set in the luridly hot summer of 1969, Bitter Orange follows one woman’s claustrophobic obsession with a couple she meets in a run-down country house in England. Best-seller Claire Fuller’s third novel is the psych thriller you never knew you needed to read this fall. This intoxicating story breathlessly meshes themes of betrayal, right versus wrong and secrecy together; a chilling read for a chilly season.

This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philipps

Actress—and Instagram’s favorite mama—Busy Philipps (well known for her roles in 2004’s White Chicks) has written a memoir and it’s every bit as refreshing, funny and honest as you’d hope. Philipps delightfully touches on life growing up in Arizona and those painful, formative teenage years to the Hollywood experience in this all-encapsulating autobiography. No wonder it’s high up on our list of best books to read this fall.

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir is due to be published this November—and we can’t wait. The autobiography is a candid illustration of her life’s path from growing up in Chicago and motherhood to balancing the challenging responsibilities that come with being one of America’s most important women. Obama is a sharp writer, a purveyor of unwavering wit and totally unabashed in sharing her failings.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

After being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lale Sokolov is tasked with the job of tattooing fellow victims with numbers—a symbol now so synonymous with the violence of the Holocaust. When he meets a woman waiting in line to be marked, he falls in love. Lale makes it his mission to protect himself and his love in this gripping, courageous and unforgettable tale of life during the Holocaust.

A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult

Of course Jodi Picoult is included in our list of favorite books to read this fall. The number one bestselling author returns with a heart-stopping story about a gunman who takes victims hostage in a reproductive clinic. The lives of those who happened to be at the clinic on that fateful day begin to intertwine, as Picoult explores themes of abortion, women’s rights and empathy. 

See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Making a Murderer (2017), then this is for you. Author Sarah Schmidt reimagines the unsolved true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders. Be transported back to 1892 and enter the Borden household to discover tales of jealousy, sibling rivalry and dark, insidious secrets in this glittering novel. Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) calls it “eerie and compelling”.

Further reading: 10 Best Books of 2016