Photo from Facebook
Desperate to be rid of his demonic organic chemistry textbook, Derek Montgomery (C'19) turned to the Free & For Sale Facebook group, hoping to sell the textbook to an unsuspecting student who probably got a B+ in CHEM 102 (this is embarrassing). Unfortunately for Montgomery, a sudden influx of sellers and the continual pirating of textbook pdfs hindered his efforts, much as alkyl groups attached to a tertiary carbon hinder a nucleophile's attack on said carbon in an SN2 mechanism.
Montgomery did his best with the ad, listing the price as "FREE" to catch buyers' interest before hitting them with a "prices negotiable" statement at the bottom. Despite this tactic and a cheerful description of the book as "Wade Organic Chemistry 8th edition - used but in good condition," he hasn't yet had success. Not one "messaged!" comment has graced his post. Instead, Montgomery's friends have angry reacted and warned buyers, saying "definitely don't buy this," "his book is possessed," and "we're not kidding, this is actually true."
Montgomery himself does not deny this. "As soon as I picked up the book from the previous owner, I felt a chill pass over me and broke out into a cold sweat," he said. "I felt like I might never be happy again." Throughout the school year, Montgomery experienced both inexplicable sobbing and a furious desire to draw arrows when he approached his textbook. He concluded, "I think it's the ghosts of the pre-meds who came before me. They were trying to warn me, but I didn't listen."
With little luck in the dog-eat-dog world of Free & For Sale, Montgomery is considering other, less competitive venues. So far he's followed up in the Textbook Exchange group and even directly messaged members of the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2021. "Worst case scenario, I actually list a starting price on my post so buyers can have a reasonable idea of what to expect," said Montgomery. "But I hope it won't come to that."