Campus bookstores have traditionally been known as the most convenient way of buying textbooks, but some students are finding that alternative sources for books – such as online booksellers – are cheaper and more worth their while.

Some of the most expensive books at Ulrich’s and Michigan Book and Supply are within the fields of science and mathematics.

But many chemistry and physics books, like “Organic Chemistry” by Seyhan Ege, sell online for as little as one tenth of the going price in campus bookstores.

Books in other fields, such as political science and law, are generally less expensive but bargains can still be found.

A used copy of “Constitutional Law” for Law 631 is sold for half as much online – $71.75 at Michigan Book and Supply and Ulrich’s and $45 at

But despite the lower prices, students continue to buy many, if not all, of their books from campus bookstores.

LSA junior Scott Dill has always bought his books on campus. “It’s convenient, close by and I know they’ll have it,” Dill said.

Engineering graduate student Brian Wilkerson said he also chooses the campus bookstore for the convenience.

“To go through all that just to save $10 or $20 isn’t worth it,” he said, referring to the online search and the time it takes for shipped books to arrive.

Julie Dixon, store manager of Michigan Book and Supply, gave several reasons why students should buy from campus stores rather than online. “You get to check the condition of merchandise,” she said. Also, Michigan Book and Supply offers a $1,000 giveaway and the Loyalty Program in which students save when they continue to buy from the store.

But LSA sophomore Catherine Morris is purchasing her books online this semester. Referring to campus bookstores, she said, “I realize that’s not a good system.”

She is spending less than half of what she would from campus bookstores this semester – estimating around $125 instead of around $300 – and from past experience she said the books come within a reasonable amount of time and fit the description of their condition.

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