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August 16th, 2010


Good day to all you lovely Sonoma State students!  I hope you all had a fantastic summer and that this post finds you healthy and happy. 

Just swooping in to give everyone a quick tip regarding buying books. 

It is well known that the bookstores (including North Light, I'm afraid) mark up the prices on textbooks to an absurd degree.  You do not have to take it!  With a little forethought, you can save huge chunks of money by buying online. 

Once you know what classes you will be taking, just stroll into the bookstore and take down the ISBNs of every book you will be using, and type those into Amazon, or Ebay, or Half... whatever is your favorite.  Usually you can find a used book that costs, including shipping, 50-75% less than the asking price at the bookstore. 

What could you do with an extra $300-500 per semester?

My personal record was paying $0.75 for a paperback for which they were asking $25 at the bookstore, but I also regularly paid less than $50 for $130+ textbooks. 

Finally, especially in math classes, you can sometimes get away with ordering an earlier edition of the book if you talk to your professor.  Earlier editions often have nearly the same information, in a slightly different order.  The only major differences are the problems, so you would have to do homework with a buddy.

Still, it is usually worth it, as earlier editions can usually be found at less than $20 per book.  Just make sure you talk to your professor before making a purchase of an earlier edition.

Good luck to everyone and happy learning!


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Sonoma State University
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