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By Ryan Faja
Reading long-winded, and multiple page long paragraphs to excruciatingly painful, yet somewhat interesting historical texts to bland and boring business textbooks to interesting, and extremely detailed, and well researched biology and psychology texts, books, in every shape and size, will be a large part of your college life. Textbooks and novels will cost you a small fortune so make sure your money, or your parents money, is spent and used well.
No matter the field you choose to study, the dreaded textbook will be a part of your collegiate life. As a history major, and now earning a master’s in business, textbooks have always been a massive part of my education. For my history classes, I had a mix of fictional novels, textbooks, autobiographies, and non-fiction books, and the mix would often vary depending on the professor. For me, books and textbooks could, and would, range anywhere from near pennies to hundreds of dollars.
There are many resources for buying books for college. I was, and am somewhat unlucky since my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, and my current graduate school, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, do not offer textbook rentals. Or rather, let me be more specific and clear, these universities offer limited textbook rentals. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the opportunity to rent. Only certain books can be rented, the rest have to be bought, while I cannot inform you of which ones, either the bookstore’s website or an employee could give you that information.
The first source, as previously mention, to get your textbooks is the university bookstore, which is usually associated with the school that you are attending. In addition to the university bookstore, there are other bookstores, especially in college towns or nearby campus, which work closely with the university and professors to obtain the right books need for class- sometimes at lower prices.
These bookstores are great resources for finding your books, but they can be quite expensive. A good alternative to brick and mortar bookstores is the Internet, or more specifically Amazon, which I am sure many students are aware of. Amazon is best for buying novels and commonly bought textbooks at a much lower price, and if you spend over twenty-five dollars free shipping, too.
While Amazon can give you lower prices, it does have its drawbacks. The first of which is time. Yes, Amazon does guarantee that you will receive your shipment with a certain amount of days after placing your order, but if you decided not buy your books, especially novels and non-fiction books, until you need them, you might not be prepared for class. Also an alternative to buying novels and non-fiction books from either the bookstore or Amazon is the library. More often than not, your average college library will have at least one copy of a commonly used novel or non-fiction book. But, don’t put your money on it that the book will be there when you need it, other people will be thinking just like you and check it out. So be prepared, and have the books when you need them.
Now that you are down with the semester, its time to get rid of all those books and textbooks that you no longer wish to see, its time to sell them, but where? Usually the bookstore you bought them from in the first place, either the university bookstore, local bookstore or Amazon, will buy them back, but unfortunately at an extremely, and often depressingly, lower rate than which you originally purchased them. This is the one real, massive downside of going to college. So, if you can rent books and textbooks that you know you will never want to keep, do it, its the best way to save money.