Q: Where can I buy my books?

As the school year approaches and you finalize your class list, you begin to wonder whether you should start to shop for one of the more expensive parts of college— textbooks.

The University of Illinois is equipped with three books stores. There is the Illini Union Book Store, 809 S. Wright St., T.I.S., 707 S. 6th St., and Folletts Bookstore, 627 S. Wright St.

At the Union Bookstore, there is a reservation form that students can fill out with their courses, and pick-up later when they move to campus.

“They can come here and give us the course number, and we look-up the books for the class,” said Johanna Avila, a student employee at the Union bookstore.

If the books are reserved, the books will be available for pick-up from August 15-28.

Also, the bookstore has an option to pre-pay, or wait until the books are picked-up.

If students are unable to visit the bookstores, all the courses are also available on their Web sites.

“Our Web site has all of our textbook information on it,” said Brad Bridges, Illini Union Bookstore manager.

Bridges also offered some additional advice.

“I would always recommend students get the least expensive used book that they can get, rather than buying a new one,” said Bridges. “Also, they should look at the shelf tag and make sure that the book is required for class, rather than recommended or optional— they should only buy the required ones. You might need the study guide maybe not, but go to class and check that out.”

Bridges said it is important that students keep their receipt.

“If you are going to change [courses], you are going to want to return it for any reason and you won’t be able to do it without a receipt,” Bridges said.

For those students trying to save some cash, other measures can be taken.

On the Illini Union’s Web site, next to each book is the ISBN, which is unique for each book. This number can be used to search for books online.

Matt Luedke, a recent graduate in Engineering, said it is worth looking into comparing book prices on Amazon.com or Half.com to find better deals.

He said he has also used Illini Book exchange, a site designed specifically to facilitate the re-sell and purchase of textbooks from University students for courses at the University.

“I have had mixed experiences with that, where somebody is hard to reach, or they post something a month ago and they forgot they posted it,” Luedke said. “If you do work it out on the Web site, you can get some good deals.”