Somehow, I think I have mastered the art of buying books. Here are some tips:
Although your customized book list will appear on DORI far before classes start, wait until you’ve had every class before placing your order. So far, I have found that many professors change their curriculum around, or don’t find it necessary that you buy the textbook. Yes, I know, you can return a book if it is unopened, but last semester I was pulling my hair out, running back and forth to the bookstore. Oh, and don’t worry too much about not having your books in advance, most professors put them on reserve in the library. The process of borrowing them is pretty easy; just go to the front desk and tell them what you need. The only catch is that most reserved books can only be taken out for “in library” use for up to two hours.
There are a million places to order books from. Many people have realized that while the bookstore might be the most convenient way to order books, it is not nearly the cheapest. I have seen various boxes overflowing at the student mail center from Half.com or Amazon. I, however, have found the beauty of Chegg, “number 1 in textbook rentals.” This company allows you to rent books and return them (with pre-paid postage) at the end of the semester. This is how I acquired my books last semester, and I really did not encounter any troubles at all. Chegg really offers a great deal; one of my books was priced at $140.00 new, $110.00 used, but I rented it for $60.00. Although I did not do the exact math, I believe that with this discount, you generally come out with more money, even after selling back books, considering postage etc. One other cool thing about Chegg is their tree-planting policy. They will plant one tree for every book you order. This semester, I planted six trees in Guatemala!! However, if you’re in a major in which you really need to keep your books, Chegg might not be the best option.
Whatever option you choose, happy book buying!