Budgeting books

Kelly Byer

Yayo Miyake, justice studies exchange student, searches the shelves of the University Bookstore for textbooks yesterday afternoon. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Used vs. New

If students want to spend less on books and don’t mind a few scribbles or highlights, used could be the way to go.

“The used are definitely a better price,” said Universitiy Bookstore Director Michael Marquardt.

Two benefits to buying used is saving 25 percent off the original price and receiving half of the book’s new price if the store can buy it back, Marquardt said.

DuBois clerk Spenser Ford said he would buy used books even if they’re highlighted because the highlighted information is usually relevant.

Nicole Swanson, sophomore electronic media major, said she would rather buy used because they’re a lot cheaper.

Bookstore vs. Online

Textbook prices can also differ depending on where they’re bought.

“I go to half.com to get books cheap,” Swanson said.

Anne Ouellette, sophomore early childhood education major, said she borrowed her books from OhioLINK, an online partnership of Ohio college and university libraries.

While ordering textbooks online or borrowing from libraries can save money, students should consider shipping and delivery costs.

“I try to buy all my books before classes just to be prepared,” Swanson said.

Ouellette said she also requests her books before classes begin so they have time to be shipped.

Lindsay Nagy, a Kent State alumna and Campus Book and Supply employee, prefers buying at bookstores because she receives the books directly.

Senior music major Mary Farkas said she found online prices including shipping to be almost equal to a bookstore’s. She said she prefers the University Bookstore because students can pick their own used books so they “don’t get a crummy looking book.”

Megan Barbis, senior marketing major and employee of Campus Book and Supply, said she chooses not to shop online because of a bad experience with half.com. The books never came and were refunded after half a semester, she said.

Saving Strategies

There are a variety of options students can choose to save money while buying textbooks.

Students can receive discounts at Campus Book and Supply by using mobile campus and the bookstore’s discount card, Nagy said.

Lisa DuBois of DuBois Bookstore said it’s best to reserve textbooks through Books-In-A-Flash, and if used books are available, they will be pulled first.

Marquardt said for the best selection of books students should shop early. “The earlier the better,” he said.

Some students, however, may choose to wait until after classes start to determine if the book they need is necessary. Others, like Swanson, suggest trading with friends, and Farkas said to remember books from dropped classes can be returned.

Contact features correspondent Kelly Byer at [email protected].