Buying a book for your college classes can be stressful. You have to drive from local bookstore to local bookstore, search the best rental companies, and even surf Amazon.com or Half.com to find the best price for your books. The entire process of comparing books at every venue becomes frustrating.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just tell someone what book you are looking for and then that person would find the cheapest option for you? Well, I haven’t found a person to do that yet, but I have found an iPhone and Android app that will.
CampusBooks allows you to scan the bar code of any book that you are looking for and it will instantly bring up a list of the cheapest bookstores and online websites where you can buy the book. Or if you do not have the book in front of you where you can scan the bar code, you can type in the name of the book, ISBN, author, or keywords to find what you are looking for.
Another very cool feature of this app is that it has GPS technology that shows you which bookstores are closest to you so that you do not have to drive all over town, searching for the bookstore that promises to save you the most money. This app also has a feature that lets you sell your books, allowing you to earn money from this app instead of spending money on it.
After downloading the app, I decided to give it a little test run. I decided to search for a Vistas Spanish book (ISBN 160007104X) to buy. CampusBooks offered me two local options from the same bookstore: one option was to rent the textbook and the other was to buy it. There were also four online merchants that I could have chosen to buy the book from. Although this is a pretty good selection, I know that there are at least five major college textbook stores in my city and many websites that sell college textbooks.
My Verdict: Since this app is free, there’s no reason not to download it and use it next semester when you are buying your textbooks. It is not the end-all-be-all of textbook shopping, so you will still have to do a little leg work and visit a few bookstores yourself if you are not satisfied with the results. However, if you are like me (and many college students), time is precious: using this app will definitely save you time in your next book search. So, give it a try!
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