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Textbook debate: On campus vs. online

On September 18, 2015

Kevin Cobble

Staff Writer

At the Kirkwood Community College Bookstore, students are able to not only buy, but also rent their books for the semester. 

Unlike with online shopping, students are able to examine the materials that they going to purchase at the Bookstore. Once books are purchased, students have instant gratification, as opposed to waiting for that sense of relief to come through the mail. 

The ability to return unused and unneeded materials as readily as they were bought adds another sense of ease for students. There is no shipping fee to return items or books, unlike most online transactions. However, aswith all refunds, there are stipulations, such as needing to return unopened packages within a set period of time. 

The Bookstore’s easy-to-use website is an excellent resource for finding, renting and ordering books. Here, students are able to enter their class information, or log on through their EagleNet account and get their book list straight from their class schedule. 

After getting the list of materials needed for their classes, the personable staff is also willing to help locate correct books or materials. Unlike online shopping, where help is scarce or unavailable, the staff at the Kirkwood Bookstore is always ready and willing to help any student who may require assistance. The bookstore on campus may not run 24/7 like an online shop, but the hours in which it operates are longer than most other bookstores. 

While the convenience of online shopping can be done from anywhere, students are buying blind and unable to see, touch or feel the product before it arrives at a later date. 

Students can  run into other issues, as well, such as ordering the wrong book or waiting weeks for their book to arrive. 

Although students have many options when it comes to purchasing textbooks, utilizing the Kirkwood Bookstore is the best choice to ensure students purchase the correct books and are prepared for the first week of classes.  

Beth Meyer

Staff Writer

There are several reasons Kirkwood Community College students may talk up the advantages of using the campus bookstore. These reasons may include that it is more convenient because they don’t have to wait for books to be delivered by mail. 

Students like to be able to get instant gratification for a purchase. however, there are other, less expensive options for purchasing textbooks that are worth exploring. Before buying textbooks, students should ask whether or not buying at the campus bookstore is worth it.  

Students at Kirkwood are spending far more on textbooks at the campus bookstore than some other places, such as discount stores or online sites.

Bookstore purchases might be more convenient, but it begs the question of whether or not it is worth the convenience. Some students may dismiss the idea of purchasing books online as being more of a hassle than it is worth. But for students spending hundreds of dollars on books that might only be used a few times or could easily be bought for much cheaper online, the hassle may be well worth it.

Students already have enough expenses. Even at a place as inexpensive as Kirkwood, college classes can break the bank for some students. 

Additionally, some students are paying for room and board at the Kirkwood apartments along with car insurance, utilities, groceries and other expenses. 

The campus bookstore should lower textbook prices to compete with the rise of online textbook shopping. Students could very easily be using the money they save on textbooks for college tuition, classroom supplies and  living expenses.

Hopefully, next semester, when Kirkwood students are cringing at the cost of textbooks, they’ll at least think to check websites like Amazon, Chegg or Bookboon to see if they can save money. Many sites offer less expensive  purchase or rental options for textbooks students don’t plan to keep.  

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