Book Exchange saves students money

A textbook-recycling program pioneered this year raised about $1,500 and will likely continue in the future, organizers said.

The Yale College Council-Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project Book Exchange ­— intended to save students money, promote sustainability, and raise funds for local charities — collected used textbooks and course packets over the past two months and resold them to students at significantly discounted prices. It will now give the $1,500 proceeds to a New Haven non-profit. Organizers said the project collected more books and earned more money than they expected, but only two of 16 students interviewed Wednesday said they had participated.

“I think it was a major success and something we hope to build on in the future,” YCC Treasurer Brandon Levin ’13 said.

According to Levin, $8,000 worth of textbooks were collected and $1,500 were raised for a New Haven charity or shelter, which YHHAP will choose.

In addition, students saved an estimated $1,800 on book costs because of the reduced prices, Levin said.

“The goal of the book exchange first and foremost was to save students from the exorbitant costs of textbooks,” said Jeff Gordon ’12, president of the YCC.

He added that he expects the program to earn more next fall than it did this spring. The exchange has also already collected books for courses that are offered every fall, and students will be able to buy them at a discount next semester.

In December, members of YHHAP and other campus organizations placed boxes in numerous locations around campus where students could deposit their used books and course packets, and volunteers went door-to-door to help collect the materials. The donated books were sold out of a store in the basement of Bingham Hall throughout shopping period.

The YCC, with the help of the Freshman Class Council, helped advertise the project and donated the space in Bingham. Former YHHAP Co-Director Gabriel Zucker ’12 said he thought YHHAP provided the majority of the volunteers collecting and selling the books.

“A little over 90 students ended up volunteering,” said Charlie Jaeger ’12, co-director and co-founder of the program.

Jaeger said over 500 students donated their used books, and many of those who saved money purchasing materials through the program gave positive feedback.

But 14 of 16 students interviewed did not take part, though all but three were aware of the exchange.

Heshika Deegahawathura ’14 said that although he received e-mails regarding the project, he did not take part simply because he did not have enough time.

Other students, including Sarika Arya ’11, were simply unaware that the exchange was occurring.

Will Meyerson ’13 also did not know the exchange was taking place, but added that he likely would not have donated anyway.

“I have sentimental attachment to my textbooks,” he said.

Caitlin Mori ’14 said he did not participate in the project because it did not offer any of the books for her classes.

Students who both donated and purchased books saved an additional 25 percent on all books they purchased through the program if they donated as well.

Correction: February 11, 2011

An earlier version of this article mistakenly reported that students who both donated and purchased books through the YCC-YHHAP Book Exchange saved an additional 25 percnt on up to three items. Students actually saved an addititional 25 percent on all books they purchased through the program if they donated as well. In addition, due to an editorial error, Charlie Jaeger ’12 was incorrectly identified as a director of the YCC-YHHAP Book Exchange and a YHHAP member. He is in fact a co-director and co-founder of the program alongside Ray Xi ’12.

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