Tag Archives: textbooks

Where to Buy College Textbooks

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Not only is tuition insanely expensive, so are the books you need to buy. I remember when I went to college, I had to take out student loans, just to pay for all the books and manuals. Then, of course, you go to the bookstore to try and sell them at the end of the semester. You’re lucky at that point to get a couple of dollars for each book. They’ll claim the book has writing in it, or that it’s now out-of-date! Argh!!! We all know that when you’re going to college, every single penny counts.

I wanted to tell you about a site that can help you save big money on textbooks! CampusBooks is a site that can help you locate and buy your books for a fraction of what it would normally cost you on your physical college campus.

CampusBooks compares textbook prices for new and used textbooks including tax, shipping, coupons and promotions from dozens of bookstores. They make it easy for you to buy college textbooks and make sure that you get the best deal for the upcoming term. Some books can be bought for up to a whopping 90% off of the normal list price!!!

It’s so easy to start saving money with CampusBooks. Simply type in a book title, keyword(s) or even the ISBN number and search. You’ll be given a list of books, places to buy from, prices with tax and shipping and more!

Alternately to searching, you can follow @campusbooks on Twitter. Send them a DM with the ISBN number of the book you need, and they’ll send you a DM back with a link to exactly where you can buy your book for the best price!!! Word has it they’re also busy working on an iPhone App!

You can also sell your used books, as well! Simply register for the site and start selling. You’ll make more money than you would by “giving” them back to your campus bookstore, that’s for sure.

Shop easy and smart this year. Save yourself a wad of money, and don’t use it all on pizza!!

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College Textbooks: Rip-off!

In my newsletter the other day, I mentioned something about my experiences with University Book and Supply at the University of Northern Iowa – how they’d rip me off every single semester and I had no choice but to deal with it. George Spink had slightly different experiences:

I can’t even imagine paying for textbooks today, let alone going to college. My father died in January 1957, and my mother worked to support us. When it came time for me to go to college in September 1958, I was pretty much on my own. Fortunately, I had saved money throughout high school by working part-time jobs.

I did my undergraduate work in political science between 1958 and 1963, working a year between my sophomore and junior year so I could save money to transfer from UCSB to Northwestern University. I remember books cost me about $30-$45 per quarter at UCSB.
Because I was from Illinois, I paid out-of-state tuition to go to UCSB, a few hundred dollars a year. Northwestern’s tuition in 1961-1963 was much higher, $1,200 per year. I paid $400 for my first quarter and then received full-tuition scholarships for the remaining quarters I attended Northwestern. I used the money I had saved while working in 1960-1961, about $3,000, for my living expenses.

I did a year of graduate work at Stanford between 1963 and 1964. It’s tuition was somewhat higher than Northwestern’s, $1,800 per year. Books ran about $45 to $60 per quarter at both schools. I always bought new books.

In the mid-1970s, I earned an M.B.A. with a specialization in finance from the University of Chicago. Tuition was $400 per quarter, or $3,600 per year. Books were about $100-$150 per quarter.

It is hard for me to believe that more than 30 years have passed since I earned my M.B.A in June 1976. Fortunately, I was always good in math and took almost enough classes as an undergraduate to major in it, but politics was my main interest during the Kennedy years. My math background helped me immensely at Chicago, because I specialized in finance, taking eight out of my 20 MBA courses in finance. The Chicago approach to finance was highly mathematical.

The University of Chicago was my idea of what graduate school should be like. I think about 75 percent of its students were graduate students, and I think that is about the same percentage today. Nerds was not a widely used term in the early 1970s, when I was a 30-something student there. But many U. of C. students would have been called that and would have been proud of it. They really wouldn’t have cared. The highpoint of every other year was always the Lascivious Costume Ball, where students wore anything they wanted. Several coeds usually showed up wearing peanut butter and nothing else.

After I received my M.B.A. in June 1976, I remained working at the University for three years. It was a great place to work. In 1979, I eventually succumbed to the lure of higher salaries in the private sector. I wish I would have remained at the University of Chicago.

What I remember most about the University of Chicago Bookstore had nothing at all to do with books. There was a small area of the store where you could order class rings, other school memorabilia, and have photos developed. On the wall behind the camera counter was a large portrait of Cybill Shepherd. She was in her 20s when the photo was taken and absolutely beautiful.

Looking back, I’m very glad I went to college – if only for the experiences and exposure. Higher institutions of learning will certainly be around for a while, although I must admit that I’ve learned more in life from “the Internet” than I ever did in the classroom.