Purchasing textbooks can be a stressful ordeal for many students. Obtaining the right material, saving money where one can and knowing whether a textbook is required at all are a few things to consider when preparing for a class.
“Buying books always gives me a headache. Until you show up at a bookstore or look up the cost of the books online, you don’t know how much extra you’re forking over for the semester,” says Salt Lake Community College student James Taylor. “Then you need to worry about where you’ll be buying your books and how soon you’ll have them.”
To help with the purchasing process, the MyBooks link is available on MyPage, assisting students in figuring out which textbooks are required for a course. By clicking “Books for My Classes”, students are redirected to the SLCC College Store website to view book titles, authors and even required editions for their upcoming classes.
College stores are also dedicated to helping students find the right material for their class. Assistants are employed to guide students through the organized sections of the college store. For classes only taught at a specific campus such as South City, the textbook may only be available at that location. Books for SLCC classes taught at a location that does not contain a full-time bookstore can be found at the Taylorsville Redwood college store.
Alternatives are also available when purchasing textbooks. Online retailers like Amazon.com and Half.com are popular thanks to price-matching competition and the availability of multiple sellers. Multiple shipping options are also available and Amazon.com offers a Student Prime Membership that allows free two-day shipping on most items. The membership allows a free six-month trial period and a discount is available afterward if students decide to continue the service.
Renting textbooks is another option. This method is popular for general education courses where books may not be used for future semesters or throughout a student’s academic career. For a fraction of the cost of buying a brand new book, a rental will be returned at the end of the semester and the stress of reselling a textbook will not be an issue. The option to rent a textbook is available at the college store as well as with many online retailers.
E-books (electronic books) also referred to as eTexts can be used on a variety of tablets, smart phones and laptops or personal computers. Some benefits of accessing a textbook electronically includes: portability, font adjustment and having the text delivered immediately and avoiding the need for in-store pick-up or waiting for physical delivery. Some E-books may have a restricted time period for access based on a subscription, as this is a form of an online textbook rental.
Students can also take advantage of websites offering free online classifieds such as KSL.com and Facebook group pages to buy and sell books. This method allows students to not only help themselves by selling a book no longer needed, but to also help out a fellow student.
When preparing for an upcoming semester, students can look into their options and figure out what will work best for them. Knowing where to purchase textbooks can make a big impact in savings and on stress.