We’ll admit it – making the transition to college can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to do, a lot to keep organized, and a lot of things to shop for. Some of the most important things (at least we think so!) are, of course, your textbooks! We know that it’s easy to feel intimidated by the textbook-buying process, but we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Let’s talk it through.
First things first – how do you find out which textbooks you need?
This part is simple! Once you have your course schedule set, just head on over to your Barnes & Noble College bookstore website. Under the Textbooks tab is a section called Find Your Textbooks – this is where you want to be! Here you can enter your course information into our handy Textbook Wizard. Now it’s time to “Find Materials.”
Once you’ve done this, the Textbook Wizard will pull in a list of the materials you need for each class (we told you, it’s simple)! Most materials are listed as a single Required item. However, there are two other terms that many students have questions about: Required Package and Package Component.
So, what’s the difference?
A Required Package is comprised of more than one individual item – for example, a textbook that comes with a CD-ROM and an iClicker. Package Components are the individual items that make up that package. In the previous example, the textbook, the CD and the iClicker are all individual Package Components. If you’re purchasing a Required Package, you don’t also need to purchase the package components individually – it’s taken care of!
Let’s talk format.
When it comes to ordering your textbooks, there are a few different formatting options you can choose from. Two of the most common variations are New and Used. Often, used textbooks were sold back to the bookstore at the end of the previous semester by another student. Used textbooks usually cost less than their newer counterparts and they are – almost always – still in good condition.
The last formatting option available is Digital. You can select digital content the same way you would a hard copy.
Now that we’ve talked through New, Used, and Digital textbooks, let’s move on to Renting vs. Buying!
The eternal question: should you rent or buy?
The next piece of the puzzle revolves around whether you’d like to keep your textbooks permanently. When you rent a textbook, you order it at the beginning of the term and then return it once finals are over. Because you are not keeping the book indefinitely, rentals cost less than a regular purchase. You can choose to rent a digital book as well!
Just like when you buy a textbook, you can also choose to rent both new or used varieties. The best way to save money? Choose to Rent Used textbooks. Simply return them to the bookstore at the end of the term!
If you’re concerned about forgetting to return a rental, don’t sweat it. The bookstore will send you email reminders when the due date draws near! The My College Bookstore App is another great resource that sends rental reminders right to your phone (download it here).
We hope this is enough to get you started with the textbook buying process! Questions? Just post a comment below!