Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

The UP’s Textbook Guide

Navigating the book buying trenches may seem daunting with all the choices out there. Here are some tips that will save you some grief and help keep your sanity.

1 Find out what you need before classes start.Whywaitforbooks.com is a Web site that lets students access the names of their textbooks without obtaining a syllabus from the teacher first. It has the author’s name and lists if it’s required for the class or optional. The site is a fantastic tool for online textbook purchasing before classes arrive.

2 Shop around.Be sure to compare prices everywhere. Limiting your purchases to only one bookstore or online site won’t be beneficial in the long run. It’s like buying a car – don’t get the first one you’ve laid eyes on.

3 Talk to a friend who’s had the class.Talk to people who may have previously had a class you are taking. Find out how necessary the book actually is. If the student says no but the teacher says yes, try to find a student in the class to split the cost and share the book, especially if you don’t need to use it that much.

4 Beware of internationally made books.Be careful about online purchasing. Dave Wulf, co-owner of Booksmart, advises students that books published internationally are sold for much less than textbooks published in the states. Wulf says the content inside is the same, but the binding and material it is made from is different. This means that when you try to sell it back, you won’t get much for it. For example, a book that you paid $50 online for, that originally cost $80 in bookstores, may only be worth about $6 or less if it is an international book.

5 Get the right edition.When researching a book to buy online, you need to find as much information about that book as possible. Make sure the edition and authors are all correct – use whywaitforbooks.com to get this. Most teachers use the most recent edition, so make sure that is what you are looking at. Some sellers are selling older editions, but don’t put that in the description. Beware of fakes and frauds.

6 Allow time for shipping.Take into consideration the time it takes for shipping when purchasing your books online. While some sellers are eager to sell their books as fast as possible, I have been the buyer who has eagerly checked the mailbox two weeks after classes start, waiting for that one book to arrive. Also, remember to figure the cost of shipping into your calculations.

7 Get popular.By far, the easiest buy is from a student just like you. They want to get rid of it just as fast as you want it in your hot little hands. Talking to fellow students early on in the semester may help with future book-buying… especially if they know someone who has had a class you will be taking. Nothing is better than getting a cheap book. Unless, of course, you get it for free.

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