Almost passed out when I looked at my calender the other day and realized it’s already August… then I had a mini panic attack again because I realized that we go back to school in only a couple weeks (yay!), classes start (boo) but I have yet to even look at any textbooks I need!
For those of you that are freshmen and new to the college game of wasting all the money you worked for all summer on textbooks, here’s what you need to know:
- To figure out what textbooks you need, the Misericordia Bookstore compiles a list. If you log into your e-MU account and head over to the “Around Campus” tab and click on “Bookstore” you’ll find a page that says “textbooks by semester” once you click on that, select the upcoming semester (Fall 2014). From there all you have to do is select the subject(s) you’re taking and then look for your class and professor to see what books they’ll be using.
- If your professor or class is not listed, feel free to email your professor. Some of them haven’t selected a book yet or have certain requirments/specifics so they might email the class first, but it couldn’t hurt to ask-just make sure to be polite!
- Now comes the hard part: Rent? Buy? Used? New? You have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing textbooks. Personally, I would recommend buying books for classes that are in your major and that you think you’ll be referencing for a while. Core curriculum classes or free electives you can probably get away with renting books, which saves you tons of money. Just make sure you rent the book for the right amount of time and that you don’t forget to send them back at the end of the semester! For example, if you’re an OT major I might look into buying your intro to OT book but probably renting books for Sociolology or English. Regarding new or used books, I would definitley recomment used-they’re cheaper and there’s no reason to constantly buy the newest textbook out there. Some professors will even let you get older editions of textbooks which are a lot cheaper, so look into that as well!
- Although the bookstore is a good resource for textbooks as it has majority of the books your professors want, it can get a little pricey. My best advice is to search online. There are hundreds of websites out there like half.com, amazon.com, bookrenter.com, campusbookrentals, barnesandnoble.com – the list goes on forever. (check out my absolute favorite website at the bottom of this post!)
- Another useful resource for buying textbooks without breaking the bank is to look to your fellow classmates. Students sell their used textbooks at much cheaper prices then the bookstore, plus there’s no need to pay for shipping! This tends to be easier once you’re an upperclassmen because you know a lot more people that took similar classes, but the Misericordia 2018 facebook group is a great way for freshmen to buy books from upperclassmen.
My all-time favorite textbook buying website!
Yes, you can make fun of me but I am about to share with you the super textbook saver secret of your life: the summer of my freshman year I was insanely determined to spend the least amount of money possible on my textbooks so I made this huge spreadsheet of all the books I needed and scoured the internet looking for options. Then the textbook superheros must have felt sorry for me and somehow I stumbled upon the best website in the entire universe. bigwords.com saved my life because it’s just as organized and determined as me! All you have to do is type in the ISBN number or name/author of the book(s) you need and this cute little robot does all the searching for you! It will bring up the cheapest options available to you, provide you with coupons/free shipping, and let you compare hundreds of prices without you doing any work. I promise you once you use it, textbook buying will become a breeze (up until you realize just how many books one English class needs….)
Happy textbook buying!