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Incoming PhD Students: What Books are You Bringing?


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How do you pick?!

I've got favourite books, books I'll use for research, books I might use for research, books I might end up teaching from, and don't even get me started on the 4+ years of class notes I still use...

And moving them all 1500 miles would just be stupid.

I get that I'll end up with even more books once I start my program, and will probably die underneath an avalanche of books when I finally graduate. But I'm at a loss as to how to decide what comes down now. Ideally, I'm only going to ship one MAYBE two boxes of them to my new place.

Anyone else facing the same problem?

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I drove 900 miles to my new school last month, and, luckily, I was able to fit all of my books into my small car. Last year, however, I moved out the the country and had to condense my large book collection in order to leave it in storage at my mother's house. I wound up getting rid of about 300 books. I decided to get rid of classics which would be very easy to inexpensively replace if I ever wanted/needed another copy. I also decided to part with books totally unrelated to my proposed studies in 20th century American literature. I didn't forsee needing a copy of any of my medieval, early modern, or pre-Romantic books, so I tossed those out as well.

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Pro-tip: if you can't fit everything and ultimately decide to part ways with some of your books, don't 'toss them.' Instead, you can donate them to a number of organizations, or maybe sell them.

Agreed! When I decide to depart with books in my small-but-respectable collection, I either sell them online or give them to charity, depending on their worth (poor college students always need extra cash. ^_^ ). There are a plethora of ways one can donate books, ranging from giving them to a local charitable organization to shipping them to cash-strapped schools in Africa.

So yeah-- I encourage everyone to donate books they'd otherwise throw away.

EDIT: Oh hai, Hegel! ;)

Edited by Two Espressos
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I've combed through my collection, and I'm parting with very few. But I'll definitely donate the ones I can't sell--thanks for the tip!

I think my parents' house is going to become my own personal library. You and I have hoarding in common, Timshel.

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You guys, this was the worst. I donated or sold at least half of my book collection. HALF. As it was I had to ship four boxes of books from Vancouver to California, and I managed to store my language dictionaries and larger textbooks here in Vancouver. I was hemorrhaging books for about a month and it sucked. Currently I only have 10 books with me to take to Scotland. It feels like I'm missing limbs or something!

Every option just ended up being cheaper than shipping them to Scotland. I would have filled up my suitcases with books, except I've heard I'll need clothes over there.

It still makes me kind of sad just thinking about it...

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I'm driving 1200+ miles to my new home(in less than 9 days yay!), and I am only bringing what can fit in my little car, but I have a ton of books, too. So, I am bringing the books that I would need immediately with me (i.e. reference books, criticism, etc), and then I am going to have my in-laws ship the rest of my books to me (slowly- for cost reasons).

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's no way in hell I could bring everything. The books I could *sort of* bear to part with already fill an entire bookcase in my room. I've got it narrowed down to one box that I absolutely can't live without, a backpack filled with stuff I'm planning on reading on the cross-country road trip, a couple of boxes filled with things I'm likely to need within the next year, and a giant stack of "I can't afford to ship these but really wish I could bring them". Oh, and Saturday is the Newberry Library book fair in Chicago. That's going to set the balance wayyyyyyy off the day before I leave...

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Haha! I just discovered USmail has a book rate, for anyone else whose having issues cramming them into your suitcase, purse, cat carrier, ect.

Please be careful with this! I had my parents send me three big packages of books that way last year and they all got lost. I tried to track them down for months with no success (or apology). If you choose this option, investigate the extra cost of adding the ability to track the packages, it could well be worth it!

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Please be careful with this! I had my parents send me three big packages of books that way last year and they all got lost. I tried to track them down for months with no success (or apology). If you choose this option, investigate the extra cost of adding the ability to track the packages, it could well be worth it!

:o Thanks for the warning! Ill definitely look into the tracking options.

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