I spent a good part of the afternoon with a headache today, thanks to my lengthy quest to find used textbooks before classes begin on Monday.

I had stayed up late the night before, crawling book exchange sites, craigslist, and Google, trying to find sellers that I could actually meet without driving 300 km and offer me books that weren’t falling apart. I emailed half of them last night, and then the rest this morning… And I spent the rest of the time either replying to emails or calling up other sellers.

However, the most trying part of the entire search was keeping track of who offered which book at what price, and would meet me at what time and place. You have no idea how confusing it is when you’re messaging seven different people from four different (but nearby) cities about three unfamiliar books — Who was selling that book about phonetics again? Wait, was she the one from that city or that one…or did she say she could come to my campus to meet me? Did anyone I contacted about that personality theory book even reply to me yet? I can’t remember…

This, plus waiting anxiously for people to reply to me (so that I can decide whether I should meet seller A or B, because they either offer different prices or could possibly get the book to me sooner than the other person), resulted in a very jumpy and stressed cereal eater. (I should note that I was absent-mindedly snacking on cereal while writing all my emails.)

It didn’t help that I was also stuck in a traffic jam after contacting my potential sellers too. Especially since I was in a rush to get to my university’s bookstore before it closed to buy a stats textbook, which I could not buy used (darned access code).

But it seems like my book exchange dates are set now, so all I can do is hope for my sellers to turn up and have the proper book in hand… And that I have enough money to actually pay for the pile of overpriced papers.