Backpack, check. Pencils and paper, check. Textbooks? Now that you’ve registered for classes, you will have to purchase the required reading materials. You’ll be able to find out what materials you will need through the college
bookstore’s website or by e-mailing your professor and simply asking. You can pick up your books through the campus bookstore, but sometimes that gets expensive.
For instance, if the bookstore is only carrying a new copy of the book you need and that book is close to $200, it’s good to know your other options. Very few off campus bookstores will have a textbook section. Right now Barnes and Nobles has a small selection, but it might be worth making a call to see if they have your book in stock. Your best bet is to shop around online. Amazon will often have both new and used textbooks avail- able, and if you register your RIC e-mail, you’ll be given a student version of Amazon Prime, which means some of your books will have free two-day shipping. Don’t feel bad about buying used books; usually it’s cheaper, and sometimes you’ll find that the previous owner has left some useful notes or highlighted important sections. It’s like “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” without the spells but with the magic of savings.
Another website worth looking into is Chegg. You’ll not only be able to buy new and used text- books, but also may be able to rent the books for an even lower cost. This is a popular option because you won’t have to worry about selling your books back at the end of the year. If your book is eligible to be rented and you don’t think you’ll need it for a future course, it’s worth looking into. Just be sure to mail the book back when the semester ends. There is a package sending drop box located right next to the Ducey Media Center.
There’s one more option available for the environmentally concerned student: e-books. Both Amazon and Chegg have some books available for download directly to your computer or kindle. Typically the price on these is in-between renting and purchasing because you aren’t paying for a bound copy but you are still purchasing the material. Sometimes it’s worth owning the material if it’s in a subject related to your major. It may even help you by providing more source material for the essays you will write in more difficult courses. When it comes to college, it’s never a bad idea to keep your options open and your expenses low.