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In economics we learn that people buy things that maximize their utility but if my teacher forces meto buy a book is that maximizing my utility?   if...

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That depends on whether you know that you will not need the book when you go to buy it.

Let's say your teacher tells you to buy a book and tells you that you will need it for class.  When you buy it, how are you maximizing your utility?  You are maximizing your utility because you want to get a good grade in the class (presumably).  Therefore, when you buy the book, you may be giving up money you'd rather have, but you are thinking of it as an investment, so to speak, in getting a good grade.

So what you're doing is maximizing your utility by doing something that you think will benefit you in the future.

If you know the book won't be needed and won't affect your grade and you still buy it, then you aren't maximizing your utility.

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