Surviving Rush: Seven Shopping Tips for Students

January 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

As we mentioned, the semester shopping rush at Book Culture is coming soon. To help students navigate the course book buying process, we’ve gathered some handy tips that should (hopefully!) help to ensure a successful shopping experience when you visit the store:

1). Know the Keyword: Professor’s Last Name!

Forget about course numbers! Don’t worry about authors! The absolutely number one most important piece of information you can walk in our door with is your professor’s last name. As long as your professor ordered from us, we’ll be able to tell you what books you need and where they are.

2.) Surf the Web: Visit Book Culture Online Before You Buy

Want to know what books your teacher has ordered, but have no desire to schlep over to our store in the snow? Just hop on the web and check out our course book section, where you can browse course listings to see whether the books you need have arrived. We update this information daily during rush, so it’s pretty accurate (but don’t bet your life on it).

3.) Successful Searching: Finding Your Way Around the Store

There are a lot of books in our store. How exactly are you supposed to find your course books? First of all, we keep course books separate from the regular sections. Secondly, we organize them by department and, within that, alphabetically by professor’s last name, the all-important keyword! For our purposes, we group some departments together (for instance, you’ll find SIPA classes in our Political Science dept. and writing classes in English). We put up lots of signs to help direct you, but it can still be confusing. So, please just ask for help! We have a team of (mostly) friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you find your books.

4) Save More Than Time: Hunt for Used Books First

Know where to look to save money while you shop. We stock as many used course books as we can get our hands on. Look for used copies right next to the new copies under your course listing. Also, check out the stacks of used course books on the stairs – you might find just the book you need. You can save a lot of money getting used textbooks, but get them early. The used books go fast and once they’re gone, we can’t easily restock them.

5.) Seek…and If You Don’t Find: Ask For Help

If you find your class shelf, but the book you need isn’t there, don’t despair! And don’t leave! Ask a staff member for help! We may be able to rustle up a copy for you, if you have time to wait for a bit. You never know –we might have a carton of that very title just being unpacked, or maybe it is shelved elsewhere, since another professor is using it as well. If we’re really out of stock, we can give you an idea of when to expect it in.

6.) Crowd Buster: Shop Early

The crowds won’t descend until the first day of classes (Jan. 22), so — to avoid long lines at the register, do your shopping during the long-weekend before classes begin. Shelves will be the neatest they’ll be all semester, and you’ll find a fresh and eager team of booksellers waiting to help. There are also select quiet times, even during rush — If you’re a morning person, come by at 9:00 a.m. when we open, or in the evening between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

7.) Fast Cash: Don’t Forget Buybacks!

Remember how you can earn cash! Sell your books back to us at the end of the semester (or at any other time) and receive up to 25% of the book’s retail value in cash or up to 40% in store credit.


Entry filed under: Events, Store News.

Rush: The Transformation Begins Offsite Events

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Book Culture is an independent community bookstore with two locations in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City on 112th street and 114th street and Broadway. Visit us online at

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