Welcome to the Antique Textbook Show!

Photo curtesy of Pixabay

Written by: Ahmed Ali, Peak Associate

Welcome to 14th annual SFU Antique Textbook Show!

Every year, students gather to show off ancient, overpriced education supplies no longer usable in the classroom. These wonderful artifacts of the past have endured much, and they help us understand the mentality of students who studied only a few semesters before us.


-1 – iClicker ($32) from 2015


An incredible artifact to find! This iClicker is already an unfathomable four years old and unusable in most lecture halls today! Truly a marvel of 2015 AD Engineering, its current state clearly represents the hubris of the students of the ancient pre-2016 world. Its battery cover is missing and there is a mustard stain for the student who, forensics have confirmed, was lazily eating during lecture. We know from archaeological Facebook post dives that it’s likely this iClicker was bequeathed to a friend to take to lecture when the registered student did not feel like attending. Thankfully, this plastic device will never biodegrade, so we have years to learn all its secrets.


-2-  Calculus: Derivative of Expense ($153) from 2012


What a marvelous wonder! Though calculus itself hasn’t changed much in the last 300 years, this textbook is already 17 editions out of date. This old hardcover was pulled from the excavation site of a CMNS hallway, and this rare item even contains hieroglyphic doodles and drawings from students past. When you find yourself thinking back to these doodles as you write your third calc midterm of the semester, you may have to replicate these doodles on your answer sheet, gambling on the chance that they are, in fact, the answers you need.


-3- Genetics: Inheritance of Debt ($212) from 1996


A treasure from an era gone by, a different millenium. Scholars have alluded to this text existing during the time of the dinosaurs, formation of constellations, and possibly before SFU was even in construction, although there is debate among the academic community, as no one is quite sure when SFU first went in construction.


Despite being so out of date in its field, this textbook contains all of the useful genetics info a 90s kid would learn. Get ready to learn stuff from genes to Mendel and more, except when you realize that only, like, 10% max of the stuff in the textbook is on the level of your classes. (Helpfully, this means the book is in good condition, at least). Knowledge is timeless.


-4- Commerce: Deception of Business ($950) from 2016


This is the most recent item of sale we have. You can see its modernity in that it is literally just an expired access code for a textbook. The way it extorts money from you is only the first lesson of the cutthroat world of business, so it’s already preparing you for the real world.