Textbook Fever?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Written by May Warren

Your Guide to Getting the Best Bang For Your Buck)

Its that time of year again. You have a little class, not a lot of work and a huge list of books to buy. It can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, or even if you have. The important thing is not to panic. There are several options when it comes to buying books. All of which can save you time, and perhaps more importantly, money.

The first is to buy books used. Both the University Bookstore and the Campus Co-op Bookstore offer used books at reduced prices, and many of them are in excellent condition.

Becky Wallace, Academic Commissioner for the CSA says a student-to-student connection can also be helpful.

“If students can't afford the pricey new textbook or are simply looking to save some money, they can buy and sell their used textbooks at thecannon.ca, or they can check out the student-run Co-op Bookstore,” she says.

"The Co-op is owned and operated by students and for students," says Co-op HR and Finance Manager Tina Sorbara.

"The Co-op Bookstore offers a five percent membership discount at the cash register. The staff identifies which items are required for the course and which items are recommended, which can be confusing for first year students," she says.

However Sorbara cautions that students need to be sure of what they are buying and that they are getting the right materials.

“Students need to confirm with their instructors that they are buying the right textbooks and the correct editions, "she explains.

Wallace also says that getting professors to put books on course reserve can be a useful option.

“Students need to know they have the right to ask a professor to put a required textbook on course reserve at the library. They can get friends in the same position to make a request too,” she advises.

Fourth year Arts and Science student Jennifer Carroll agrees.

“I use course reserve when possible; it’s always kind when the professor puts books on reserve.”

Carroll also advocates buying from friends or borrowing from friends who have the book and would be willing to let you borrow it for a semester.

“You can also go to websites where you can order books online. For a course that has a heavier reading load it can be a good idea," she says, adding, “Shipping can be expensive but sometimes you get a good deal.”

“Books can be expensive and the more you save the better. Its worth a bit of effort,” she explains.

Representatives from the University Bookstore were not available for comment on this article.

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