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Textbooks 101

School is back in full swing and that means it’s time to get textbooks. Getting textbooks can be an expensive hassle. We are here to offer a little bit of guidance.

There are three textbook stores in Oxford; Barnes & Noble, Campus Book Mart and Rebel Bookstore. These bookstores make textbook shopping a breeze. All three stores offer online shopping. Textbooks can be ordered online and shipped to the bookstore for no additional costs. The store clerks will go and gather the books and put them in a bag to be picked up. Option two would be to order online and have the books shipped straight to your student’s home.

Another way to acquire books would be to go in to the store, show the clerks a list of books needed or your student’s class schedule and the clerks will gather everything for your student to check out. Campus Book Mart differs slightly because your student can pick out his or her books without help. All of their books are labeled by class in alphabetical order to make it easy. Rebel Bookstore and Barnes & Noble require assistance because all of their book shelves are behind the checkout counter and closed off.

Barnes and Noble is the official Ole Miss bookstore and currently located in the Jackson Avenue Center due to the construction on the student union. That being said, Barnes & Noble tends to be a bit more expensive but typically has an added level of convenience being the university's official bookstore.

All three stores offer two payment methods; rent or buy. If a book is rented, it is often times about half the price. Rented books are usually due by the end of finals week or the weekend after finals. If the book is somehow damaged however, your student will be held responsible and have to pay full price for the book.

However, some books are only available to buy. If your student chooses to go the other route and buy books, there are two buy options; buy new or used. Used books are discounted while new ones are full retail price. For classes that require an online code for assignments, the book will most likely have to be purchased new, unless your student is able to find the book used and buy the online access code separately. While buying books new is the most expensive option, it isn’t a total loss. These three stores will buy the books back after your student is done with them.

The only reason they would decline to do so would be if the publisher released a new version of the textbook, so your student’s version would no longer be useful. Or if the book has been damaged. Damaged books consist of missing or ripped pages/cover, water damage, stains, mildew, excessive notes/highlighting or damaged spine or binding. My advice? Check the book before purchase to make sure there is no previous damage that was overlooked so when it’s time to return it, your student is not to blame. If there is damage, report it to the store clerks at once.

Two other stores that sell ‘textbooks’ are DocuMart and Copy Time. These are printing services but they do sell some books. These books aren’t necessarily textbooks that you would find at the other bookstores. Sometimes, teachers will create course packs through these printing services and students will then have to go pick them up from there. Course packs are books put together by teachers that consist of articles, short stories, discussions and other short readings and interactive pieces. Course packs are then used either with or instead of other textbooks and are extremely necessary to the class.

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