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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Students have options when purchasing textbooks

With the ever-increasing cost of tuition and college students' budgets steadily shrinking, purchasing new books from the university bookstore just isn't an option for some anymore.

Due to a preference for affordability over the hefty prices of new books at university bookstores, the trend of renting books and online book shopping has grown in popularity in recent years, especially at UF. According to annual cost estimates provided by the university, students on average spend $1,070 on books a year.

Christine Winward, an 18-year-old UF bookstore sales associate and applied physiology and kinesiology student, said renting is geared toward affordability and is one of the best options for students looking to save money.

Students also have the option of keeping the book and, if they choose, can arrange to pay the difference at the end of the semester.

Either way, she said, students save money.

"You're cutting around half of your cost when you rent books, and students are really starting to take advantage," she said. "To a lot of people, the bookstore prices seem outlandish."

Fabienne Elie, a 20-year-old psychology senior, is one of those people and argues that buying books at university bookstores will leave a student in the poorhouse.

Students should opt for purchasing books online, she said.

"My first semester in school I spent $710 at the bookstore," Elie said, "four-hundred dollars just on two books, so now I definitely know that it's better to get my books online."

Since renting became an option last year, it has become a popular alternative to buying books, but Elie suggests

Amazon, which offers textbooks at discounted prices, boasted more than $34 billion in revenues in 2010, according to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Never get your books at the bookstore because even with renting and used books, the costs are still higher than on the Web," she said. "Getting books online doesn't take that long, and if you get them priority, you can get your book in like two days."

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For those insistent on buying books in person, students may take advantage of the book store in the J. Wayne Reitz Union or the several local bookstores around town. Professors will usually tell students the preferred place to get textbooks for their respective classes.

Editor's Note: Some classes have textbook lists online with listed prices for both new and used copies. Go to isis.ufl.ed and click "Schedule of Courses" on the right side of the page. Select "Course Listings" under the respective semester (Fall 2011 in this case). Once you get to your respective major, you may check to see if textbooks are listed by clicking on the blue link under "Course Title & Textbook(s)."


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