The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Feelin' Po? Save Some Dough!

By Colleen Good

So it’s the end of the first week of classes. Many of you have already shelled out hundreds of dollars for books, while those of you still “shopping” for classes this coming week may be waiting until your final decisions are made. If you’re regretting those expensive purchases (or just sad you didn’t win at Bingo for Books again this year), don’t fret: you can still return your books to the Bookstore through Friday February 5. So read on, and hopefully you can save a little cash.1. You can go traditional, and shop at the Macalester Bookstore. While it isn’t much to look at, it has all of your books conveniently organized by course number. Newer students may not know this, but several years ago Macalester didn’t even have a bookstore: instead, Macalester ordered its textbooks through an independent bookstore. However, the store came under hard economic times, and while Macalester tried to help out, the business ultimately failed. Macalester has finally made concrete plans to build a more legitimate bookstore, but it’s unclear when exactly this will happen. The advantage to buying at the bookstore is that it’s convenient, and you can return your books through Friday February 5 if you decide to drop a course.

2. In recent semesters, there’s been a lot of press about concerns over the rising cost of textbooks. MCSGeven created a taskforce to tackle the problem-due to this, some of the most expensive books from courses in the chemistry, math and economics departments are available at the Macalester Library. If your required readings include novels or books by well-known authors, there’s a good chance the library will have it. However, you may not be the only student with this idea. If you’re out of luck and the library copy of your book is already out, consider checking into the Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Libraries. Depending on the book, it may be worth the extra effort if you can get a lot of your books essentially for free.

3. If you’re willing to shop around (and possibly wait a long time for the book to ship), there are plenty of online sites offering used books for very little money. You know how to use Google, so I won’t list the many options here.

4. In 2003, a bunch of Macalester students started a website called Mac Book Swap ( Essentially, the website acts as a Mac-local version of craigslist, but only for books. Mac students can go to the website and type up information on their textbook, including the condition its in and how much they’re asking for it. No sales are made directly through the website. Instead, contact information for the seller is provided, and students can then arrange meeting up to exchange the books and money on their own. While the website has over 1990 books, some books have been posted to the website since 2004, and it’s unclear how much it is currently used. But if you can find the books you need, it’s local and convenient.

5. Another option to emerge in recent years is book rental. A simple search online reveals many online vendors offering book rentals for the semester. If you don’t have a particular yearning to keep your books after the semester is over, this can be an affordable option. However, this also means you can’t take notes in your book, and that you can’t sell it back at the end of the semester, so compare prices online and sell backs with the bookstore to see if this is the best money saver for your textbooks this semester.

6. E-books are another option. However, unless you have an e-reader, these can be frustrating, as you can’t necessarily take notes. But as long as you have an e-reader or a laptop, lugging around your laptop probably won’t be as obnoxious as having to carry all of those heavy books. Plus, then you can multitask in class, and have an excuse for having your computer out to check your email or Facebook.

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  • J

    Jake ParsonsSep 11, 2019 at 3:26 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

  • R

    Rose DuncanSep 7, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.