COVID-19 Response and Reopening

How to Find Textbooks

Aside from tuition, one of the biggest expenses you will encounter as a college student is textbooks. Textbooks are an important part of the learning experience in college, and, with a little knowledge in hand, you can save yourself money and hassle. Here are some concrete tips, tricks, and strategies you can use every term to save money on your textbooks, while still providing yourself with the tools you need to be successful.

I want to purchase my textbooks.

What's the difference between renting and buying?

  • If you only need a textbook for a term, renting can be a less expensive option than buying. However, consider your options carefully to ensure purchasing or renting is the best move for you.
  • If you consider purchasing, positives include:
    • You can keep your books for future classes or for your career;
    • You can write, highlight and take notes in a book you purchase;
    • You can buy an older copy of a book, which you can learn more about here, or a digital copy, which you can learn more about here, to save money;
    • You can sell back/return your books at the end of the term, which you can learn more about here.
  • If you consider purchasing, cons include:
    • Purchasing is often the most expensive option;
    • You will not get a full refund if you sell back your books;
    • You will need to store your books if you decide to keep them.
  • If you consider renting, positives include:
    • Renting is often the least expensive option;
    • You can easily return your book at the end of the term.
  • If you consider renting, cons include:
    • You can’t mark up the book while you’re reading it;
    • You can be charged fees if the book is not returned in a similar condition as when you received it;
    • Consider the time period you’re allowed to rent the book in case you need to return it before you have completed finals.

Does my class require a book?

  • On the Class Schedule, click the link in the last column to confirm you need a book. Some classes have no course materials, offer free materials, or use materials that cost less than $50 and all those options are listed in that column when you’re selecting class sections.
  • Check COCC’s Barber Library’s catalog to see if the library has copies of your required books on physical Course Reserves or in the library’s print or e-book collections. You can learn more about course reserves here.

How do I make sure I get the right textbook when not using the COCC Bookstore?

  • Search by ISBN to find your textbooks. Searching by title, author, and year of publication will give you results, but publishers often offer different configurations and bundles of textbooks. Searching by ISBN will make sure you get the unique version of the textbook you need.

Where can I go to compare prices to make sure I’m getting the best deal?

  • Shop around using price comparison tools like www.cheapesttextbooks.com or www.addall.com to find the best deal. Remember to factor shipping fees and buyback value into the total cost.
  • When you search for your textbooks at the COCC Bookstore, look for the price comparison feature for each textbook.

Can I buy a used textbook?

  • Buy used when possible. Used books typically save you at least 25% off the cost of a new textbook.
  • However, be aware that some classes require access codes or software that is bundled with new textbooks. If you want to buy a used copy of a textbook, it’s a good idea to check with your instructor to see if you need accompanying materials in addition to the textbook.
  • Consider buying an older edition of your textbook. Before the term starts, email your instructor to see if you can use an older edition, which is often cheaper.

Should I get a digital copy of the book?

  • E-books are usually less expensive than print texts.
  • E-books may have the additional benefit of being searchable by keyword/phrase as well as have options to add comments, create bookmarks, and sometimes provide free access to additional online materials.
  • Some of the drawbacks include online only access, restrictions on printing, no resale value, and the fact that these are usually rentals that expire after a period of time.

How do I buy my books from the COCC Bookstore?

  1. First, find your class schedule on your Bobcat account.
    1. Login to your Bobcat Web Account.
    2. Click ‘Student Services and Financial Aid.’
    3. Click ‘Registration’ and then ‘Student Schedule.’
    4. Select the appropriate term to look at your class schedule.
  2. Go to the bookstore website, http://bookstore.cocc.edu/Home.
    1. Select ‘Textbooks,’ and then ‘Compare Pricing & Order.’
    2. Select ‘Click Here to Order Your Textbooks Now!’
    3. Choose Department (example MTH) and then select the correct course number and CRN (from your course schedule as described above).

For more detailed instructions, see How to Order Course Materials Online.

How do I get an accessible copy of my textbook for a disability?

  • If you need accessible reading materials as an accommodation for a disability, regardless of whether you're looking to rent or buy, contact the Office of Disabilities to get the help and technology you need.

What other options do I have besides purchasing my books?

  • First consider if renting is an option for you. You can learn more about the differences between purchasing and renting here.
  • Second, consider if the library provides access to your textbooks, either in the collection, which you can learn more about here, or through course reserves, which you can learn more here.

I want to rent my textbooks.

What's the difference between renting and buying?

  • If you only need a textbook for a term, renting can be a less expensive option than buying. However, consider your options carefully to ensure purchasing or renting is the best move for you.
  • If you consider purchasing, positives include:
    • You can keep your books for future classes or for your career;
    • You can write, highlight and take notes in a book you purchase;
    • You can buy an older copy of a book, which you can learn more about here, or a digital copy, which you can learn more about here, to save money;
    • You can sell back/return your books at the end of the term, which you can learn more about here.
  • If you consider purchasing, cons include:
    • Purchasing is often the most expensive option;
    • You will not get a full refund if you sell back your books;
    • You will need to store your books if you decide to keep them.
  • If you consider renting, positives include:
    • Renting is often the least expensive option;
    • You can easily return your book at the end of the term.
  • If you consider renting, cons include:
    • You can’t mark up the book while you’re reading it;
    • You can be charged fees if the book is not returned in a similar condition as when you received it;
    • Consider the time period you’re allowed to rent the book in case you need to return it before you have completed finals.

Does my class require a book?

  • On the Class Schedule, click the link in the last column to confirm you need a book. Some classes have no course materials, offer free materials, or use materials that cost less than $50 and all those options are listed in that column when you’re selecting class sections.
  • Check COCC’s Barber Library’s catalog to see if the library has copies of your required books on physical Course Reserves or in the library’s print or e-book collections. You can learn more about course reserves here.

How do I make sure I get the right textbook when not using the COCC Bookstore?

  • Search by ISBN to find your textbooks. Searching by title, author, and/or year of publication will give you results, but publishers often offer different configurations and bundles of textbooks. Searching by ISBN will make sure you get the unique version of the textbook you need.

Where can I go to rent books?

How do I get an accessible copy of my textbook for a disability?

  • If you need accessible reading materials as an accommodation for a disability, regardless of whether you're looking to rent or buy, contact the Office of Disabilities to get the help and technology you need.

What other options do I have besides purchasing my books?

  • First consider if renting is an option for you. You can learn more about the differences between purchasing and renting here.
  • Second, consider if the library provides access to your textbooks, either in the collection, which you can learn more about here, or through course reserves, which you can learn more about here.

I want to use a scholarship or financial aid for textbooks.

How do I use scholarship to buy textbooks?

  • Contact COCC’s Foundation and/or Financial Aid to determine if you have a scholarship to pay for your books.
  • To purchase your books with a scholarship, follow these instructions:
    1. Create a customer account at the COCC bookstore website, http://bookstore.cocc.edu/Home, under “My Account.”
    2. Log into your account and order your course materials. Note that you must be logged into your account to be able to access Financial Aid as a payment type.
    3. At check out, choose Financial Aid as the tender, and then use your 820 number as the account number. This process works regardless of where the funding for bookstore credit comes from.
  • You can always check your Bobcat account to see if you have bookstore credit available.

For more detailed instructions, see Using Bookstore Credit Through the COCC Bookstore Website.

How do I use financial aid to buy textbooks?

  • Contact COCC’s Foundation and/or Financial Aid to determine if you have a scholarship to pay for your books.
  • To purchase your books with a financial aid, follow these instructions:
    1. Create a customer account at the COCC bookstore website, http://bookstore.cocc.edu/Home, under “My Account.”
    2. Log into your account and order your course materials. Note that you must be logged into your account to be able to access Financial Aid as a payment type.
    3. At check out, choose Financial Aid as the tender, and then use your 820 number as the account number. This process works regardless of where the funding for bookstore credit comes from.
  • You can always check your Bobcat account to see if you have bookstore credit available.

For more detailed instructions, see Using Bookstore Credit Through the COCC Bookstore Website.

How do I know if I have funds to buy textbooks?

I need to access a digital textbook.

Should I get a digital copy of the book?

  • E-books are usually less expensive than print texts and may have the additional benefit of being searchable by keyword/phrase as well as have options to add comments, create bookmarks, and sometimes provide free access to additional online materials.
  • Some of the drawbacks include online only access, restrictions on printing, no resale value, and the fact that these are usually rentals that expire after a period of time.

How do I get a printed version of a digital textbook?

  • Sometimes digital textbooks have publisher-set printing limits on the number of pages available to print or restrictions on printing altogether. To determine if your digital textbook can be printed, contact our librarian Kirsten Hostetler.
  • If an instructor is using a digital resource that is licensed as an Open Education Resource (OER) textbook, physical copies can be ordered through the COCC Bookstore or you may contact our librarian Kirsten Hostetler for other printing options.

How do I get an accessible copy of my textbook for a disability?

  • If you need accessible reading materials as an accommodation for a disability, regardless of whether you're looking to rent or buy, contact the Office of Disabilities to get the help and technology you need.

I want to know my options for lowering textbook costs.

Does my class require a book?

  • On the Class Schedule, click the link in the last column to confirm you need a book. Some classes have no course materials, offer free materials, or use materials that cost less than $50 and all those options are listed in that column when you’re selecting class sections.
  • Check COCC’s Barber Library’s catalog to see if the library has copies of your required books on physical Course Reserves or in the library’s print or e-book collections. You can learn more about course reserves here.

Can I access my textbook through the library for free?

  • Check COCC’s Barber Library’s catalog to see if the library has copies of your required books by searching for the ISBN. If you’re unable to find copies in the library catalog, check the library’s Summit and Interlibrary Loan services to see if you can borrow course materials from partner institutions. Note, however, that libraries in general do not purchase textbooks, so it may be difficult to locate a copy of your text locally or via other partner libraries. For assistance with locating items or requesting materials through Summit or Interlibrary Loan, email a librarian.
  • If your textbook is not available through any of these options at the library, check the library’s Course Reserves. You can learn more about course reserves here.

Can I use Course Reserves?

  • Course Reserves are items your instructor has made available for you to use in your course. Keep in mind that other students have access to Course Reserves as well, so you should think ahead about when you will need the textbook to complete assignments; in other words, don’t wait until the last minute because the book might not be there when you need it!
  • Search for Course Reserves in the COCC’s Barber Library’s catalog. If you are unable to find your textbook, ask your instructor to put a copy on Course Reserves. Often, instructors are able to get free copies of textbooks they can make available through the library and might not be aware of this service.
  • For assistance with locating Course Reserve items, email a librarian.

Can I share with a classmate?

  • Consider if it is realistic or desirable to share a textbook with a classmate. Consider factors such as how to split the expense, how to coordinate its use, and what to do with the textbook once you are done with it.

Where can I go to compare prices to make sure I’m getting the best deal?

  • Shop around using price comparison tools like www.cheapesttextbooks.com or www.addall.com to find the best deal. Remember to factor shipping fees and buyback value into the total cost.
  • When you search for your textbooks at the COCC Bookstore, look at the price comparison feature for each textbook.

Can I buy a used textbook?

  • Buy used when possible. Used books typically save you at least 25% off the cost of a new textbook.
  • However, be aware that some classes require access codes or software that is bundled with new textbooks. If you want to buy a used copy of a textbook, it’s a good idea to check with your instructor to see if you need accompanying materials in addition to the textbook.
  • Consider buying an older edition of your textbook. Before the term starts, email your instructor to see if you can use an older edition, which is often cheaper.

Should I get a digital copy of the book?

  • E-books are usually less expensive than print texts.
  • E-books may have the additional benefit of being searchable by keyword/phrase as well as have options to add comments, create bookmarks, and sometimes provide free access to additional online materials.
  • Some of the drawbacks include online only access, restrictions on printing, no resale value, and the fact that these are usually rentals that expire after a period of time.

What's the difference between renting and buying?

  • If you only need a textbook for a term, renting can be a less expensive option than buying. However, consider your options carefully to ensure purchasing or renting is the best move for you.
  • If you consider purchasing, positives include:
    • You can keep your books for future classes or for your career;
    • You can write, highlight and take notes in a book you purchase;
    • You can buy an older copy of a book, which you can learn more about here, or a digital copy, which you can learn more about here, to save money;
    • You can sell back/return your books at the end of the term, which you can learn more about here.
  • If you consider purchasing, cons include:
    • Purchasing is often the most expensive option;
    • You will not get a full refund if you sell back your books;
    • You will need to store your books if you decide to keep them.
  • If you consider renting, positives include:
    • Renting is often the least expensive option;
    • You can easily return your book at the end of the term.
  • If you consider renting, cons include:
    • You can’t mark up the book while you’re reading it;
    • You can be charged fees if the book is not returned in a similar condition as when you received it;
    • Consider the time period you’re allowed to rent the book in case you need to return it before you have completed finals.

How do I get involved in efforts to lower textbook costs for all students?

  • Textbook affordability is an issue affecting many students. OpenOregon is an organization dedicated to promoting textbook affordability for community college and university students, and facilitating widespread adoption of open, low-cost, high-quality materials.
  • COCC works closely with OpenOregon to increase access for our students. If you’d like to advocate for lower textbook costs, contact our librarian Kirsten Hostetler for current efforts and opportunities to be involved.

I want to sell back/return my textbooks.

Where can I sell my textbooks?

  • COCC’s Bookstore buys back textbooks at the end of the term. You can learn more about selling back textbooks to the Bookstore here.
  • You can also explore other online buyback services, such as Bookfinder, Chegg, or Facebook Marketplace. When using these websites, watch for possible shipping expenses and hidden fees.

How do I sell back my textbooks to the COCC Bookstore?

  • At the end of the term, the COCC Bookstore offers students an option to sell back their books. Be aware, you will not get the full price you paid when selling back textbooks.
  • You can see your books by searching your purchase history or the ISBN of the item. You will receive a quote for your items and a free shipping label that you will use to pack and send your books. You will receive a check or PayPal within 3 weeks. You can learn more about selling back your books at the COCC Bookstore here.

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