The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Textbook shopping tips can keep money from flying

By Kenneth Gutierrez/reporter

Spring, summer and fall—’tis the season not to be jolly at Tarrant County College but to buy books. Yes, another semester looms and another trip to the campus bookstore nears.

The upcoming semester may have more concerns than late-night cramming as students hope there will be no new editions or “breakthroughs” in history, science or algebra to cause change for a least another six months in TCC bookstores.

What’s a student to do?
In lieu of tuition hikes, gas increases and book inflation, one is left to wonder: does higher education mean lower living for students? It can’t get much lower; we already live on Ramen noodles, dollar menus and cold pizza. But not to fear, here are tips and secrets to survive the upcoming semester.

With classes on the way in and money on the way out, preparation is not only sound advice when it comes to studies, but also when buying books.

Tip # 1, Pick your class as far ahead as possible.
This means early registration because the earlier you pick classes, the earlier you can buy books. TCC spring registration runs from Nov. 15 to Jan. 14. Often if you know you’re going to have John Doe for Chemistry 1301, you can check the campus bookstore ahead of time to see if it has the required material.

“You can always e-mail your instructor and ask if he or she knows what text or edition they will be using,” one NW adjunct adviser said. “If you’re lucky, they will oblige you and give you some help.”

Let’s say you’re on the ball and registered earlier. You find out your Chemistry 1301 requires Chemistry for Dummies 2nd edition, which costs $121 brand new and $89 used at the bookstore.

Tip # 2, Get the ISBN number for your book.
What’s an ISBN number? The ISBN is a 10-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. It is found on the back of or in the inside of your book close to the bar code. This will keep you from getting the wrong Chemistry for Dummies textbook. It will also keep you from worrying about looking for an author’s name, editions or similar workbooks that might have the same or related titles.

Tip # 3, Search the Internet.
The adage “location, location, location” not only holds true for real estate, but also for shopping for books. The more places you look, the better your chances of finding what you are looking for. At TCC that book is a hot commodity, but at Tupelo Mississippi Community College, that book is old news and is selling for cents on the dollar. So Chemistry for Dummies is a fraction of the cost. And because you registered early, and know what you need, you can order the book online and wait the week, or 10 days for the book to come in. You’ll save big.

Tip # 4, Narrow your search.
Don’t go to Books ‘r’ Us. Instead go to a bookstore that specializes in textbooks. It’s true lightning can strike anywhere with bargains, but for the most part, stick to specialized sites.

Rocio Roldan, former TCC student, suggests

“ is a great site that works as a search engine for books,” she said.
Roldan said she always saves a lot.

“On average, I save anywhere from 60 to 70 percent off bookstore prices,” she said.

Other suggested sites include eBay. EBay is not a textbook-exclusive site, but you can always find great deals on textbooks, new and used.

Tip #5, Don’t be cheap!
Finally remember it’s your education: the biggest and maybe the most important investment you’ll ever make. If you’re going to spend $150 on a class at TCC, don’t worry about a few bucks here and there for the books.

Go ahead; spend the money on textbooks; your education is worth it.

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