Buying Your Books
You can buy your books from the campus bookstore before classes
begin. You’ll find your class listed on a card attached to a shelf
in the bookstore. Usually, the shelves are stacked alphabetically
by department, so all the accounting books will be on one shelf,
all the history books on another . . . all the way down to zoology.
Some books will be “optional,” meaning your professor isn’t requiring
you to buy them. New books should cost you about $400 a semester.
Buy your books as soon as you know what classes you’re
taking. The bookstore becomes a zoo once classes start, and you’ll
be ticked off waiting in a two-hour line while holding fifty pounds
of books. If you buy the wrong book or drop a class, you can usually
make a return, so keep your receipt. Most campus bookstores (and
those nearby that serve campuses) have return deadlines, so be sure
to ask about the return policy.
Avoid buying optional books until after the first day
of classes, when you’ll have a better sense of what you really need.
Textbooks are very expensive, so you want to avoid the additional
expense if you can.
Fortunately, most campus bookstores do sell used books, which
can cut your costs by about 30 percent. There will generally be
a used textbook store near campus too, or you can find used books
online. The cool thing about used books is that someone has generally
highlighted the important stuff for you, and made notes in the margins.
One less thing for you to do! Of course, some moron may have had
the book before you and highlighted all of the wrong stuff, so don’t rely
entirely on someone else’s study skills, or lack thereof. You can
usually sell your books back at the end of the term unless they’re
too defaced or wrecked to be used again.