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Discussion Question: Buying Textbooks

I went back to school on Monday, January 5th.  I know it seems a little early, but my school runs on the quarter system, not semester, so we start class at the beginning of January and have finals near the end of March so that we can squeeze in the spring quarter from April - June.  I was feeling pretty confident because I'd already purchased most of my textbooks through Amazon.com.  
Our campus bookstore is always super-crowded.  You have to check your backpack and there's always a line to get in, so I avoid it until the fourth or fifth week of school.  The staff tries to be helpful, but honestly most of them don't know history from anthropology when it comes to helping you find the books.  (I can understand this a little.  I've worked in a campus bookstore during the first few weeks of school and it is monstrous.)  

So students: Do you buy your textbooks on-line or do you buy them at school?  If you frequent your campus bookstore, what's it like?


Also, if you're considering purchasing your textbooks on Amazon.com, please consider using this link:

All referral fees I receive in January and February are going to given to a local food bank, because they are experiencing huge shortages of funds as more people line up for their services and less people donate.  So please - if you're going to make a purchase on Amazon.com ANYWAY, click on the link above when you decide to shop (maybe bookmark it so it'll be easy access) and help feed a hungry person in the process.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
The campus here does everything in its power to keep you from knowing what books you need until you go to the bookstore. The bookstore itself has a policy that they prefer you not to write down what books you need. But when possible, I try to buy my books online. Just because the costs are so high.
I wish my school was on the quarter system sometimes.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Quarter system does give the illusion that classes move faster than a semester system, but having done both I don't think there's much difference between the two of them. At the community college level, it still takes more than 2 years to get through unless you pack all your classes to an insane degree.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
This is what I do. Go to bookstore and buy book (USUALLY WITH CREDIT CARD). Go home and order off amazon. When book arrives, return the other one to bookstore for full refund.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
To cut back on that, at my school they've made a rule that you can only get a full refund if you return the book on the Friday of the first week; if you return it by the Friday of the second week there's a 10% penalty. You can't return books after that date unless you provide proof that you dropped the class.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
I usually buy my books the week BEFORE classes start, so the always arrives by then anyways. I just cannot in any way afford campus bookstore prices, so even if I have to wait a day or two without a book, I do it. And even if you pay the extra few bucks for expedited shipping, you end up making out cheaper buying through amazon or ebay.
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
You can rent the books you can't find cheaply on eBay. You only pay shipping one way and they plant a tree for every book you rent.

Jan. 7th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
That's a cool website I've never seen before!
Thanks for sharing it :)
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Anytime :)
Jan. 7th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
I was an English major, so I was lucky enough that I could get a lot of the novels I'd need to read elsewhere: local bookstores, online, etc. I only went to the campus bookstore when I needed to.

The bookstore wasn't bad, but the books were relegated to the basement. The upper, more prominent floor is all cheap crested merchandise and stupid trinkets.
Jan. 7th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Woo quarter system! I actually enjoy being on the quarter system.

I buy all my books online. Sales Tax in Washington is almost 9% and on textbooks that's killer. I also got all my text books this quarter for what would have been over $300 in the book store for around $150. There's little to no point in buying my books at the bookstore. They still buy back books I got online. Hahah. I'm too poor to just buy them at the book store.
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
When I was in college most of the books I needed were for my Art History classes and I was lucky enough to be able to find all the books I needed at the local-independent-very-awesome-used bookstore and never had to buy any books at our campus bookstore. It was always a zoo there!
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
Did you major in Art History? Because I am considering doing so, but can't seem to figure out what one does with an Art History degree besides slog on through to a Master's.
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
I actually got my Bachelor's in Fine Arts, but it required quite a few Art History classes. I've thought about going back for my Master's in Art History, but I haven't really figured out what I'd do with it...
I did enjoy the classes though!
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
while I was still in school the campus bookstore was pretty good. The fiction books were 25% off the list price, but the textbooks - even if they were fiction books, as I was an English major - were regular price or higher :(

I ended up ordering a lot in my last year online, particularly for my comic book course. They were way too marked up in the bookstore :(

I always waited until a week after classes started to get my books, or went on a friday or saturday.
Jan. 12th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I usually bought mine from school, or bought a used book from someone. The bookstore is always crowded though, so it always took awhile to go in and out.

I've tagged you for a meme, if you are interested.

~ Popin
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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