City Bandit’s Back to School Survival Guide
By SHIRAN TEITELBAUM
As much as you don’t want summer to end, there’s something exciting about getting those back-to-school supplies: colourful binders, an assortment of highlighters, and Post-its to stick everywhere. But when your professors hand you that list of required reading, do yourself a favour and resist getting all Speedy Gonzales and heading to your campus bookstore. That’s the fastest way to blow your potential partying funds. Take it from us Bandits – we’ve learned the hard way.
1. Don’t buy anything until your drop-add period is over. Every year, tons of people buy their books brand new and then realize that their prof is the devil and taking the class was a big mistake. If you decide to drop the class, getting rid of those books will be lot harder than you think – especially since the rest of your classmates were equally as keen. So hold out on buying until you’re 100% sure you’re staying for the ride.
2. Buy them used and abused. Don’t let your professor talk you into buying the latest edition of a textbook that costs twice as much as a used copy of last year’s. Usually, the only difference between it and the last one is the new tacky cover. If you’re unconvinced, head to the library and compare both editions. Then head to your local used bookstore or Amazon for real steals.
3. Go halfsies with a classmate. If you’ve absolutely got to buy a book new, see if the cute guy or gal in your class wants to share. Trust us, at the end of the semester, the only thing you’ll both want to do with the book is burn it. And a bonfire could be the perfect date for you two.
4. Remember, your library has those class books on reserve. What better way to get you to spend time at the library than having to do your reading there? Sure, it sucks on a cold day (see my solution below), but now you can spend that extra money on fancy hot chocolate.
5. Consider Questia. Questia saved one Bandit’s life in university – she couldn’t stand going the library with the winter cold piercing her California bones. This online library’s got journals, magazines, newspapers, and thousands of books at the click of a mouse. The best part is that if you need a bibliography for that essay, it’ll do it for you in whatever format you need. Not to mention, you can search a particular word throughout the book if you’re trying to find quotes to support your thesis. And this library never closes. It’s the best 100 bucks you (or your folks) will spend all year.
Got your own tips and tricks? Fill us in!
Montreal’s Best Used Book Stores
2074 rue Alymer
The Word Bookstore
469 rue Milton
1439 rue Stanley
Toronto’s Best Used Book Stores
471 Bloor Street West
584 Yonge Street
Zoinks Music and Books
1019 Bloor Street West
Photo Credit: lusi