Book buyers stretch to make each dollar count

by Staff

It’s that time of year again – students are gearing up to spend money on books and supplies for the Spring Semester.

The most popular locations on campus are KB Books and the SDSU Bookstore, though many students have found other ways to make their purchases.

Political science senior Tyler Booth said he buys a lot of his books online at Web sites such as www.amazon.com and www.half.com.

“I try to look for the best deal,” he said. “Saving a few bucks here and there really adds up.”

Booth said book prices can be incredibly high and he tries to look for used books that are in good condition. Sometimes it can be a hassle, he said.

“I usually try to avoid the (SDSU) bookstore because I have found lower prices elsewhere,” Booth said. “But, either way, book prices can be a little ridiculous and sometimes you don’t have a choice.”

Tourism and hospitality management junior Brian Evans, who is an employee at the SDSU Bookstore, said the company price matches books with its competitors, mainly KB Books and Internet companies.

“We really encourage students to make their purchases here because a portion of the profits goes back to the school,” he said.

The bookstore also has an online ordering system called EZ Books, which allows students to order their books via computer and pick them up in the store, Evans said.

“Sometimes it may be easier, (though), for students just to come in because we may be out of a certain book and have to order it,” he said. “We do the best we can to get students everything they need.”

Psychology junior Kelly Keefe said she gets her books and supplies at the bookstore because it is easy and convenient. There is no waiting for delivery or searching around, she said.

“The bookstore is right on campus,” Keefe said. “I can just get what I need and go. This semester my books did cost a little more than usual, but each semester is different.”

She said she usually pays with her parents’ credit card.

Evans said most students pay by credit card, parents’ checks or cash. The bookstore accepts Visa and Mastercard, but not American Express, because it charges more per transaction than most credit card companies.

Business management senior Dave Holthouse said he usually pays by check.

“People make such a profit out of starving college students. Though, I guess, that’s the price of education,” he said. “I feel like, after tuition and living expenses, there is still so much to pay for.”

Holthouse said he is really grateful when a friend takes a class before he does so that he can borrow the book for the semester. He then returns the book and gives the money to his friend.

“Sometimes I also save money by sharing books with someone in class and we split the cost,” he said. “But that can backfire when we have different schedules and need to study for the same exam, then I just have to bite the bullet and buy the book.

“Either way, I have to spend the money,” Holthouse said. “That’s college for you.”