Save the universe by saving your textbooks

In his otherwise excellent column on survival tips for the uninitiated (“New to the U?” Sept. 4), Chris Schafer suggests that students consider selling back their astronomy books at the end of the semester, even if they receive only paltry sums. I must, however, caution students of the dangers of selling these back and urge them to hold on to the books for a lifetime of pleasure and enlightenment.

First, by retaining the books, students can avoid the recurring nightmares that they missed the final exam and already sold back their well-annotated text.

Second, the textbook publishers have engaged in a giant conspiracy to keep changing the universe in order to force students to purchase new textbooks. If more students kept their texts, we astronomers would have an easier time of figuring out what’s going on in a more placid universe.

Third, and most importantly, when a student bonds with a textbook over a semester, a small piece of the space-time continuum envelops both student and text. When these are torn asunder, the small rifts in the continuum can merge, dragging the entire universe into a black hole, and wasting everyone’s tuition money.

So please, keep your astronomy texts!

Lawrence Rudnick,
astronomy professor