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Who Says a Textbook Can’t be a Good Read?

Ok, they’re far from literary masterpieces, yet college textbooks can sometimes yield interesting insights and might even be considered, dare I say, fun to read. In high school, having to read a chapter out of a textbook meant struggling for several minutes to keep my eyes open and my head up. From personal experience, the quality of a college textbook far surpasses the quality of most high school textbooks. 

Initially I found this to be ironic. College was supposed to be more difficult, so I thought college textbooks would be dull and filled with straight facts. Just the opposite happened to be true. I found college books, as well as college courses, are more interesting because they are tailored to one’s interests. You wouldn’t pick a major you hate, so the selected reading material should have at least a shred of interest to you (especially if you’re paying close to $100 for the book). I actually ended up keeping many of the textbooks and have them still lining my bookshelf (that’s saying a lot considering I can sell them back for money).

The differences between high school and college textbooks can be analogous to the differences between their courses. College courses engage students’ interests and explore principles more in-depth (at least at a smaller college like Notre Dame). This makes learning more enjoyable than being force-fed the tasteless information imbedded in the high school curriculum. 

The writing styles of college books often combine humor, wit and relatable scenarios to make them easier to stomach. You might even decide to keep a few for your collection. Not all college books are good reads, but you’ll be surprised to find yourself skipping chapters ahead just for the sake of enjoyment.