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Reading between the Lines: Secondhand Textbook Ads Decoded

Two cartoon books

Like real estate agents advertising cupboard-sized bedrooms as “student friendly accommodation”, law students can show a certain creative flair when it comes to selling their secondhand textbooks.

With exams now underway, it is just a matter of weeks before textbook exchange websites and Facebook news feeds are flooded with ads for the mighty legal tomes of last semester.

If you’ll soon be trawling the Internet for next semester’s textbooks, here’s a translation guide to help decipher what those book descriptions really mean…

No highlighting – I didn’t read it.

Some highlighting – Now you don’t need to read the whole thing!

Latest edition – I paid full price.

Previous edition – You may end up borrowing the new edition from the library at some point this semester…

As new/still in original packaging – You won’t even need the textbook for this subject.

Quick sell – I heard that there’s a new edition of this book coming out soon.

Price negotiable – Somebody please take these books. I can’t bear to look at them anymore!

Some damage to cover – Textbook may have been thrown across the room during mid-semester assessments. Pages still attached to binding… just.

Great condition – I only used it in the exam.

Good condition – I began reading this book during STUVAC.

Also includes a set of HD notes – Awesome exam notes for sale, includes bonus textbook.

Written by [insert lecturer’s name here] – No need to wait for the new subject outline, this will almost definitely be the prescribed text next semester.

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