Underground UK: Avoid the weight of textbook shopping


William T. Young Library

Megan Brown

Textbook shopping is a burden all students must carry. Whether they are used as an overpriced paperweight, a TV stand or their intended purpose, buying textbooks at the beginning of each semester can seem like another class on top of an already loaded schedule.

However, purchasing textbooks doesn’t have to be an agonizing experience. There are plenty of alternatives to textbook shopping that will save time and money.

One of the biggest misconceptions related to buying textbooks is that they will all sell out and students will not have the mandatory materials for the class.

This fear of missing out mentality often leads to students purchasing books in advance that professors end up not using. To avoid this, students should wait until they receive their class syllabus to ensure the text book is needed.

Kennedy’s and the UK Bookstore are the main suppliers of books for UK students.

While the prices are the same at the two stores, Kennedy’s has a 10% military discount on everything in the store, including books. This may be helpful to any military dependents attending college who want to save money in any areas they can.

Another way to save money on books is to buy them used. Both stores buy books back at the end of the semester and sell them for a discounted rate at the start of each semester. The books are good quality and students can save a lot of money buying used.

Another discounted option is renting books for the semester which is the cheapest option. For example, for JOU 101, “Inside Reporting” is a required book. To buy the book at Kennedy’s it is $116.50, buying the book used is $87.35 and renting is $57.35.

Other unconventional ways of purchasing books include using class Facebook pages to buy books from students who had previously taken the class.

Also, students can purchase textbooks online from retailers such as Amazon or shop at Half Price Books in the Fayette Place Shopping Center located next to the mall.

While many stores will carry required text books, sometimes professors will write books that are only sold in Kennedy’s and the UK Bookstore.

A free alternative to spending money on books at all is going to the library. The William T. Young Library houses 1.2 million volumes, some of which are textbooks.

These textbooks are put on reserve and allow students to use the books for reference whenever they are in the library.

Finally, many books are available online or in a PDF version. Sometimes these versions of books come with a low fee, but are free other times. This is a frugal way to use textbooks for classes.  

Text book shopping is different for each person, so whatever happens embrace the experience and have a great semester.