For Better Or for Worse

As each semester begins, students scatter around aimlessly in search of affordable textbooks to purchase either on campus or at A&R Textbooks at 17th and Pico. While finding it a challenge to wait in long tedious lines to purchase textbooks, Santa Monica College students are also faced by the costliness in the recent mark-ups at the campus bookstore.

Not only does the SMC bookstore provide a self-service approach, where finding textbooks, as well as a student worker coincide to become a mission impossible. Basically it involves the fiasco of students rummaging through shelves for mandatory textbooks for any given course requirements with little or no assistance from employees.

It is a visual disaster as far as organization goes, but the service is another flaw. College students in general are usually on a budget, and their educational needs should be addressed, taking into consideration their financial budgets.

Although the campus bookstore does have its flaws, it does make it convenient for SMC students to place special orders for selected textbooks through the online bookstore.

Students can browse through a catalog of items or search by a specific title to find the book of their choice. It makes the experience less stressful by not having to wait in a line that extends from the entrance of the campus bookstore to a close proximity of the library and just below the Cayton Center.

Within specific instances the experience might vary while some SMC students play the devil's advocate in not staying true to one bookstore or the other.

It may be due to the fact that the SMC bookstore has a two-week return policy. Students in most cases would rather have an extra week to determine whether or not it's suitable for a class to be dropped. Surely no one wants to be stuck with a textbook.

If the buy-back date at a bookstore is not suited to the consumer, arrangements need to be made to suit the needs of the consumer.

Buybacks on the main campus bookstore are scheduled for June 6-14, 2005. "Students have to get their money's worth," said SMC student David Pampolina.

Arthur Turney, part owner of A&R Textbooks, said, "We buy back books all year round." That seems fair and definitely reasonable to most SMC students. Fast cash in exchange for a textbook is a luxury to college students. "A&R prices are more reasonable," said SMC student, Octavia Landix. By popular vote, A&R seems to be convenient and affordable.

"If I wasn't cheaper, I wouldn't sell a book," said Turney. Ten years of experience in the business has brought several advantages to Art and Rick's Textbooks. A significant difference in services distinguishes the two bookstores from each other. "Always compare prices before doing the actual shopping," said Pampolina. Buying textbooks is extremely important, so when looking for the best place to buy, do research and attempt to find the better bargain.