Returning college students who are gearing up for the next quarter well know the heavy toll that textbooks can take on a budget, and new students have heard all the horror stories. You should buy your textbooks early–no, not just to get it over with. One of the benefits of buying your college textbooks early is that you can save money. There are other benefits as well, as stated below.
You Claim Your Copy Before Someone Else Does
The campus bookstore and online textbook sellers experience a rush at the beginning of a college quarter. If you wait too long to purchase your books, you might end up looking over someone else’s shoulder for the first week or two of class. Unless you take that someone back to your dorm room after class, homework could become difficult if not impossible to complete.
True, some college libraries have copies of textbooks on hand for students to use, but if you are not alone in in your lack of textbooks, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get access to those library copies.
You Get the Best Selection of Used Books
As mentioned above, you are in bad shape if no copies of your textbooks are available when you need them. However, it is also not good news if, when you go to buy your books, only brand new copies are available. Brand new college books are far more expensive than used. If you do not mind a few crumpled pages or a little coffee stain on the cover, you can save bundles when you buy used.
This is not to say that you should settle for an out of date edition (which your college bookstore is not likely to carry anyway). You also do not want a book which was subjected to the artistic passion of a four-year-old when the child of its previous owner got ahold of it. Go early so you can score a used book in good shape for a fair price.
You Get a Head Start
Few people are busier than college students. You might have a part-time or full-time job, family obligations, and bundles of homework every day. Purchasing your textbooks early gives you time before classes actually start to get acclimated to the books. You can learn about the books’ features, explore the glossaries, and scope out any online references mentioned in the books.
If you are particularly ambitious in your studies, you can even start reading the book. Better yet, if your college teachers post anything online before the official start of classes–like a syllabus or an assignment or two–you can get a jump on the material. Do not underestimate how useful a head start can be in making an entire quarter easier.
You Have Time to Comparison Shop
Your campus bookstore is not the only place where you can purchase your needed textbooks. If you start shopping for your college books early, you will have ample time to explore other options. You can check out sites such as Amazon.com or Half.com.
An early start also gives you time to think about not buying your college textbooks at all. Some businesses rent out textbooks for a pittance compared to the cost of buying. Chegg.com is one such resource.
You Can Save Time
Buying college books early may not be a procrastinator’s idea of saving time, but indeed it is one way to go easy on your schedule. It saves you time because you will not have to wait in line at the bookstore on the first day of class. Also, becoming familiar with the books early saves you a little time on homework.
The above benefits of buying your college books early are things that anyone attending college should consider. Your budget and your time are likely stretched tight enough already, and buying your books ahead of time is just one way to help you manage.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he describes the benefits of purchasing books early and aims to encourage further study with a UC Education Masters Degree.