Other than finding a decent parking spot amongst a sea of vehicles, obtaining the correct books on time for your classes is one of the most challenging aspects of getting started at Bellevue College. But it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s examine the basics. Books can be purchased online at http:// www.bellevuecollege.edu/ bookstore or in-person on the first floor of B building near the Student Services center, B-127 to be precise. If you purchase books in person, be ready with your class and item number (or class schedule).
This will speed up the process not only for you, but for the employees and everyone waiting in line behind you. If you order books online, pickup is located in the bus shelter next to the parking garage. The lines are typically much shorter here and since the payment has already been taken care of online, it’s even quicker.
But whether you buy them on campus or online, your books will most likely be expensive.
I asked a few BC students how much their most expensive books were. Answers ranged from $120 to $170, which, of course, are list prices for new books. They’re expensive nonetheless and for a broke college student it can be difficult to afford such texts. This is why I recommend buying your books used. This cuts the cost down significantly.
There are a few different ways to approach getting your books used. In the C building, by the café, there’s an extremely cluttered bulletin board across from the vending machines that provides many offers from fellow students seeking to sell their old textbooks. Ideally, you’ll be able to find your desired book, contact the seller and acquire your book as soon as possible for a cheaper cost (and without any shipping fees or tax). Also, if you order your books online, you can choose to buy them used. However, this does not guarantee that you’ll get used copies. If they’re available, you will receive them, but if not you’ll receive (and in turn be charged for) new copies of the textbooks. Also, you don’t always have to get your books through BC. Every book has an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Amazon is usually a quality, reliable source for online shopping and if you enter your book’s ISBN into Amazon’s search, you’re likely to find the book you’re looking for.
Sometimes it pays to think outside the box. BC offers textbooks for rent as well. Not unlike purchasing books, this can be done online or in person at the bookstore. Only a select number of books are available for rental, but at the very least, it’s worth looking into because it’ll save you a lot of money. One first-year student, Lindsay, said “it works the same way as buying books online, you just choose the rental option and it’s a lot cheaper.”
Speaking of which, I’d heard rumors that BC offered Kindles (electronic devices used to read e-books/digital media) and select photocopied chapters of texts for students to use on-campus. I did a bit of investigation on this and spoke with Luis Sanchez, Vice President of Equity and Pluralism.
“The Kindles are still in the preliminary stages. It’s something we’re trying to get implemented,” said Sanchez. And as for photocopied chapters? He didn’t seem to be aware of any such texts.
A few students voiced their opinions on what they think would improve the process of getting textbooks. Bryan, a returning student, said, “I think teachers should use older editions of books, which are only like five cents on Amazon.” Another student, Reagan, said, “If you order a book used that is supposed to come with a CD, you won’t get the disc.” Most of the students that I spoke with agreed that older editions of books would help cut back costs.
Last but not least, I feel as though I should mention returns. Whether it’s because you ended up with the wrong book or your teacher decided that the textbook wasn’t a requirement after all (believe me, both happen), you’ll more than likely find yourself waiting in line to return a book or two.
You must have a sales receipt dated for the current quarter and refunds are given the within the first two weeks of the first day of each quarter. This quarter, October 6, is the last day to take care of any refunds. If you miss this date but still want to get rid of your undesired books, you can either post a flyer on the chaotic bulletin board or wait for finals week, in which buy-backs occur and you can sell your books to a private vendor that comes to the campus. You don’t need a receipt for this latter option.
And finally, do yourself a favor and register early! This’ll put you a few steps ahead of everyone else and instead of reading over someone else’s shoulder throughout the first couple weeks of class, you can leisurely stroll across the campus, carefree, with a bag full of books.