Skip to main content

Books Galore!

Posted by on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Academics, Books, College Life, General Information, Studying.

I got this photo from the bookstore website! :)

One of the biggest struggles at the beginning of each semester is getting all of your new textbooks. This process is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult, especially if you don’t know exactly which classes you are going to keep.  Vanderbilt allows students to add and drop classes for the first weeks of the semester so that you won’t be stuck in something overly difficult or undesirable.  This wonderful freedom can have one adverse side-effect, though: when should you buy your textbooks?  You definitely don’t want to buy them too early as I did my sophomore year…I ordered six books for my English class only to find out that they were not the ones I needed.  Since I had ordered them too early, by the time I realized my mistake, the 30-day return date had already passed.  I was stuck.

I also got this one from the bookstore website!

However, neither do you want to be that irresponsible student who misses the first two weeks of required readings because they did not have their books.  You would get overwhelmed, stressed, and have a hard time catching up.  There’s something about finding the happy medium; once you know what classes you’re taking, don’t procrastinate!  Buying your textbooks is like saying your vows: “til death do us part, class, because I have spent $50 on this book for you.”  Granted, not all textbooks are $50-100, but some can be.  For that reason, it is important to look into what purchasing options are best for you.

I always buy a combination of ebooks (they’re usually cheaper) and used texts from a variety of retailers.  But more than that, I rent.  For hours I scour the internet for the best deals, searching for free shipping, long returns, and sneaky deals.  Yesterday, for example, I spent over two hours buying my textbooks.  I looked at the bookstore,, Amazon, and friends I knew who had taken the class.  In the end, though, I had to spend a whopping $320!  Mind you, this semester was a particularly intense one where I needed 27 books for my 6 classes and a practicum.  This is by no means the norm here at Vandy, but it happens.  And when it does, it sucks.
See this busy semester I have? :)

There are some things at college that come cheap, such as the free crates of Red Bull left in the dorm lobby by advertisers or free chips and queso at Qdoba.  We are bombarded by student offers at nearby clothing stores, restaurants, and boutiques; not to mention the electronics afforded to us by our bookstore!  There are other facts of life that can sometimes break the bank, though.  And textbooks are one of those things.  If you anticipate that in advance, do your searching, and expect the unexpected, then you will start off your semester fully prepared!

…Until next time!

Tags: , , , ,