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Shair
Major:
Status: Editor

Shair - studies politics, believes in people, likes horse-riding and wants to visit space station.

How to Get Cheap Books?
Shairbek Juraev

One of the most necessary things you need to do right upon the arrival is to buy books. The amount of money you will need varies from college to college and from major to major, and also depends on the classes you plan to take. For example, be prepared that books for business department classes will most likely be more expensive than the ones for, let's say, chemistry classes. Anyways, it's always useful to know how to get books as cheap as possible. After you get all your syllabuses, go through them and find the section, which tells about required and optional books. You might or might not want to buy the optional ones (you'd better wait till you go to class and figure out whether you'll need them), but you will have to buy the required ones.
Therefore, here are several options you have:
1. Rent textbooks to avoid outrageous college book prices.
2. Go to the university bookstore. Usually at the beginning of the semester there will be plenty of used books, which are much cheaper than the new ones. Students who do not need them anymore returned these books to the bookstore. Check for prices at the bookstore and for availability of used books. If there are few used books, or few books at all, get them anyway, because even in case you find your books cheaper at some other place, you can always return them to the bookstore - that's why check with the bookstore staff on returning and refunding deadlines and policies.
3. Go on the Internet, and search for availability of books there. You might want to check websites like http://www.amazon.com, http://half.ebay.com, etc. - go to the "books" section, put the name of the author, or book's title, and go to "search". It is possible to get cheap books, sometimes even cheaper than used books at the bookstore. Last semester I saved around $10 on that. Always make sure you know how much shipping and handling cost, and be aware of the time it takes to get online-purchased books. Usually they arrive in 1-2 weeks, but you need to check that yourself.
4. Look for announcements of students: some students sell books after semester is over. As bookstore refunding is not satisfactory to many students, they prefer to sell their textbooks themselves, and it might turn to be the cheapest option. Go through on campus posts, and good luck in finding what you want!
In brief, you have (1) online bookstores, (2) university bookstore and (3) retail booksellers. You have two kinds of books: new books and used books. Apply them to each of the above-mentioned three book sources, find the most optimal one, and get your book.
After all, you can save money by selling your book after the semester. You have again three options: sell online, turn to bookstore, or sell to students around campus yourself. Bookstores generally pay very little for returning books; online selling requires time; and you need to post some info about your books to sell on campus. Also, you can just take books with you - it is all up to you.

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