Background: Students seem to resent having to purchase books for class. A month before the course started, I sent an email to students informing them of the books needed. I explained that in addition to a new  textbook, there are 3 required paperbacks that will form the basis of 3 writing assignments. I encouraged them to find used copies of the 3 paperbacks – perhaps from a student who took the class last semester or search online.  One student sent me this email in response:

so we HAVE to buy all four of these books? First semester i bought 5 books and i only uses 2 of them. Trying to limit what i need to buy and what the bookstore can keep.