I have been trying to clean up and get rid of some of the things I don’t use/need anymore, and I came across a box of college textbooks. I hate getting rid of them because I think maybe I will have a job someday where I need to use them to refresh my memory. So far, I haven’t used them once in the two years I’ve been out. FWIW, they are economics textbooks of all course levels. I’m sure they are all a few editions behind now, so there probably isn’t much resale value for them either if I decide to get rid of them.
Have you ever used your old textbooks after you graduated?
No. Upon graduation I enthusiastically sold them back to the University book store.
Kept a few of them thinking I might actually want to reference something, but in ten years, I haven’t.
A couple of times, mostly to provide citations on the Straight Dope Message Board.
But really, in the internet day and age, it’s just not that important. Try this…grab your first book, open to a page at random, and then google the topic. Did you find fourteen gazillion webpages with the same exact information your book has (or information that’s even more current)? Then why hang on to the book?
Yes. I purposely kept my Italian book because I knew that if I wasn’t in school or Italy, I wouldn’t be using the language much, and would likely get rusty. I started brushing up on my Italian recently, and had two reactions. “Man, I used to be able to read all this?” and “I’m glad I kept these books.” All others, I sold, and haven’t given them a moment’s thought since.
I graduated from college in 1987, and my work is completely unrelated to my undergrad major of theatre. Think I have maybe referred to my stage makeup text once, and possibly the technical production text twice, in the last 23 years.
Graduated from law school in 1995. Think I have opened one of those texts once in the last 15 years.
Does addressing a wobbly table leg count? If not, then no.
Law school case books get a degree of use in my household, especially when it is a subject tangentially related to the stuff I work on regularly (like Admin Law, for example).
Not the case-based textbooks, but I’ve definitely hit up some of my hornbooks from time to time.
I still have my law casebooks, but they’re around 20 years old now and essentially useless. I ought to get around to throwing them away.
I sold back all of my undergraduate texts, but have my grad-school texts (mathematics) on the shelf. I don’t often have to reference them, but occasionally I need to look up a formula or some such.
I used them to help my kids with high-school physics and math homework. Before they could get the internet of cough up any meaningful help I could usually go straight to the relevant section of an old text book. Oddly enough, sometimes there were the exact same problems. Funny how that works.
My degree is electrical engineering, and my job is in the field of electromagnetics, and yes, I use my college textbooks for work often. I use them for answering the occasional SDMB question as well.
I’m a mechanical engineer; I use my old subject-specific textbooks quite often. There are other printed sources as well that come in quite handy, such as Machinery’s Handbook and Crane technical papers, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to read through an explanation of a topic I haven’t encountered in awhile. Though I do have a large collection of bookmarked sites for quick research, I’m more likey to rely on a textbook or other recognized printed source for my reports (especially if I need to cite my sources).
I kept a couple of my math books, though I don’t have those at work. I sold back pretty much anything that was unrelated to my major (humanities courses, etc.). A lot of these classes required the purchase of a “textbook package” from the university bookstore; this consisted of a block of pages meant for placement in a three-ring binder, and could not be sold back.
A few times but I’m in grad school so it doesn’t quite count. I’ve kept my Spanish Lit books for sentimental reasons, and because they have all my translation notes.
I do find it a little easier to go back to a textbook that I’ve read before, even if it was years and years ago. Given that 10-15 year old texts are pretty much worthless, my plan is to keep them around until I need the space. I didn’t hold onto that may, I was pretty efficient at selling them back at the end of the term.
Yes, I kept an accounting book and a business management book that had formulas in it.
I’m another engineer that uses his textbooks either to find a formula that I can’t quite remember or to brush up on a topic at the start of some research.
Janson’s History of Art and my Norton’s anothology of American Literature I use all the time. A few science texts I keep in my office for nostalgia’s sake.
I am a Mathematics major and I do refer to them quite often.
We play a lot of games and sometime you just need to do the math to settle a strategy argument. (This is then followed by an argument about the math.)
Yeah, I am a nerd. Luckily, I have nerd friends who also think this is a fun pastime.
Norton’s? Can’t live without my Norton’s!
Spanish, history, dictionaries and how-tos.
For quite a while I used the health-related ones also but things change. . .