From Colleen Brown & Jennifer McDonald, Senior Academic Advisors, Exploratory Studies:
It’s textbook buying season and students have a lot of questions. When should you buy them? How do you know what to buy? Can they be returned if I change my mind?
Here is some information for you to consider about textbook purchases:
- Always check the return policy at bookstores and/or Amazon before you buy a textbook. Most have a very small window of time to return and most will not accepted any texts that have had the shrink-wrap plastic removed. Knowing the return policy will save you money in case the professor changes his or her mind, you hate the class, or you bought the wrong edition of the book.
- Some courses don’t require a text at all and some require other kind of materials – like a course pack (EDPS 10500 requires one). We will be sending out emails about where and when to buy the EDPS 105 course pack in the coming week.
- Some courses like ENGL 10600 will not require that you purchase your texts until the first week of classes. Check the syllabus on the first day.
- There are a lot of choices available to textbook buyers besides the standard “do I buy new or used?” question.
- Consider renting your textbook, buying an e-version for your device or laptop, sharing with a trusted classmate or roommate (if you are in the same section), or seeing if the Purdue Libraries carry the text (use the advanced search and type in the title or author’s name).
- If buying used, try to get your hands on the book as soon as possible to check for damage (like ripped out pages or marker covering key text).
When to buy your books:
- It comes down to preference, but keep in mind a few things:
- Some classes will not expect you to have purchased the books before the first day of class – though almost all classes will have assignments due on the second day of class!
- Some courses like ENGL 10600 even ask you NOT to purchase their textbook until after your first class meeting. Your instructor will keep you informed.
- The downside to waiting to buy your books until after the first day of class is that the bookstores may run out of books (it happens). If they do, you would have to wait, and borrow the book from classmates in order to not miss assignments.
- The upshot? If you are ancy, buy your books ahead of time, but know the return policy and don’t open any shrink-wrapped books or materials until after the first day of class. If you are chill, wait until after the first day of class to buy books, but make sure you know which friends are in which classes so you can borrow texts, just in case.
How to find your textbooks and purchase them:
- MyTextbooks: Go to MyPurdue > Academic tab > My Textbooks link. This is connected to Amazon’s Purdue Student Store.
- Websites like the University Bookstore or Follett’s are also accurate places to check textbook requirements and good places to purchase or rent them.
- You can also research these sites and then purchase them through the Purdue’s Student Store in Amazon or use something like Bookfinders.com to research booksellers to find the best price.
- Buying your textbooks directly from the store (University Bookstore or Follett’s) with friends is a fun way to bond. Plus, you can check the condition of used books before you buy and get information about return policies, e-book, and rental options directly from the bookstore!
- Manually searching MyPurdue’s Schedule of Classes:
- Get out your Week at a Glance Fall 2015 schedule for reference
- Go to the Schedule of Classes > Fall 2015 > Click on the Subject > Type in the Course Number > Choose your start and end time (a.m. or p.m.) > Choose your Days of the Week.
- Make sure you are looking at the lecture or main section of the course.
- Click on ‘Course Materials’ link to view required texts and materials.
- DO pay attention to which edition of a book your instructor wants you to order. For example, a 2nd edition and 3rd edition will likely have different chapters, page numbers, and information.