Bookstore - Frequently Asked Questions

Why are textbooks so expensive? more
According to the Nation Association of College Stores (2010), on average, 75.9% of the price paid for a new textbook goes back to the publishing company and 1% to the freight company that shipped the book. The remaining amount goes to the Bookstore but has to cover operating costs. On average, 6.3 cents of every dollar spent represents a profit to the store. Since the SJR State Bookstore is owned and operated by the college, the profit goes back in to the college to benefit students, scholarships, organizations, and campus improvements.

See the National Association of College Stores website to see how each dollar from a new textbook sale is calculated. >>

Why shop at the SJR State Bookstore? more
At the SJR State Bookstore, we do all the work for you. All you have to do is bring in your schedule and we pull all of the required textbooks for your courses. It is important to bring in a schedule because textbooks can vary between professors and sections. The Bookstore works directly with the professors to ensure the most accurate selection of course materials as possible. In addition to new textbooks, we offer used and rental textbooks to help save you as much money as possible. We also offer buy back at the end of every term. At buy back, you can sell your new and used textbooks for cash.

The Bookstore staff takes great pride in helping our students, not only with questions concerning textbooks but also questions about Viking life in general. Your support of the Bookstore makes an important contribution to the college. The Bookstore is owned and operated by the college so money spent at the Bookstore benefits students, scholarships, organizations, and campus improvements. The Bookstore is open extended hours at the beginning and end of every term, including some Saturdays, to help accommodate our students. We are also happy to ship books for students who can’t make it into the store.

If you do decide to shop elsewhere, make sure that the book you are ordering has the same ISBN number as listed on your syllabus or the book list. The ISBN number is assigned to an individual textbook title for that edition of the book. A packaged set will have a different ISBN number, which includes the book and other items in the package. Also, don’t forget to consider shipping costs, delivery time, and packaged items sometimes needed for a course when ordering.

When is the best time to buy my books? more
Shop early for textbooks after you register for your classes. You will avoid long lines and may find more money-saving used and rental books. The Bookstore starts selling used books the day after book buyback ends. The Bookstore starts renting textbooks generally on the same day that Financial Aid Bookcards begin. See our rental FAQs page for more information. Lines tend to be long a few days before classes start and the first few days of class, especially during the hours from 10am to 2pm. If you change classes or purchase the wrong book, the Bookstore will gladly refund your money or exchange the book for the correct one, as long as it follows our refund policies. It is not advised to buy books several terms before you plan to take the course since textbooks and editions may change.

When will the textbook list be available?
The Booklist will become available, at minimum, 30 days prior to the beginning of the term. The list is posted on our website and also available in our Bookstores .

I do not see my course/section listed on your website, what materials do I need? more
If you do not see your course or section listed on our website, it means that at this time, we have not received any course material information from your professor. We are constantly updating our list as new information is provided so continue to check back or wait until the first day of class for your professor to tell you what you need for class. In most cases, you are not required to have your textbook and other required materials with you on the first day of class.

What are the different textbook statuses? more
Textbooks are normally either deemed required, recommended, or optional. These statuses are set by the professors and/or their departments and not by the Bookstore.
  1. Required: The professor and/or their department have indicated that this material is required for the selected course.
  2. Recommended: The professor and/or their department have indicated this material will most likely be beneficial to the student, but not required. (The Bookstore recommends that you consult your professor before purchasing the recommended text)
  3. Optional: Items, such as study guides, may assist the student in the course but are not required. (The Bookstore recommends that you go to class before purchasing the text)

What are E-Books? Are E-books available in the Bookstore? more
E-books, electronic books, are the digital version of printed textbooks. Publishers have started producing e-books as a lower cost alternative to purchasing physical textbooks. When you choose to purchase an e-book, you will be given an access code that will grant you access to the materials on your personal computer or tablet. Most access codes only give you access to the materials for a limited time frame and some require internet access.

The Bookstore does carry e-book access codes for select titles. Call or visit the Bookstore for more information.

Do you ship books? more
The SJR State Bookstore can take your order over-the-phone and ship your textbooks to you. We accept both credit card and financial aid bookcard authorizations for all phone orders. Financial aid bookcard authorizations will have to be faxed or emailed to us with signed written approval on the bookcard and a copy of your photo ID attached. Contact the Palatka Bookstore for more information.

Why isn’t my textbook in stock? more
The Bookstore works diligently to make sure that textbooks are available in the Bookstore when you need them. On rare occasions, we do run out of textbooks temporarily. There could be numerous reasons why your textbook wasn’t available when you tried to purchase it. Your professor may have turned their book request in late, or not at all. The publisher could be out of stock so the books were placed on backorder. Additional classes could have been added at the last minute after the book orders were placed. In any case, the Bookstore works tirelessly to have your books available to you as quickly as possible. If we are out of a textbook when you come to purchase it, we will gladly reserve one for you when it comes in and call to let you know it has arrived.

Why should I sell back my books to the SJR State Bookstore? more
The SJR State Bookstore usually offers higher buyback pricing on textbooks that are still being used at the college than other places. It is up to the student whether or not they want to sell their textbooks back during book buyback. The student has the right to refuse the prices being offered during buyback and opt to keep their textbooks. In some cases, textbooks are used for multiple courses and should not be sold back if the student intends to take other courses that require the same textbook.

When is the best time to sell back my books? more
The Bookstore only buys back books during the set book buyback dates and times. Book buyback is offered at the end of every term for 2 to 3 days, including the last day of the term. We cannot buyback books outside of these dates and times. The sooner you bring in your textbooks during those dates and times the better chance you have of selling your textbooks back for the highest price.

What determines if you are buying my book(s) back, and how much I will get for it? more
A wholesale book company is employed to provide book buy back services at the SJR State Bookstore during the set book buy back dates and times. The wholesale company buyer will purchase titles for the SJR State Bookstore if the professors have decided to continue using the textbook(s) for the following term. For the textbooks that can be bought back for the Bookstore, the student will be paid approximately 50% of the purchase* price until the Bookstore buy back limit for each title has been met. If the college is no longer using the textbook or if the Bookstore’s limit has been reached, then the wholesale company buyer may offer to buy the books, usually at national wholesale pricing.

Students are encouraged to bring any textbooks they do not wish to keep to the end of term book buy back. Books purchased from other sources and used in other college classes may sometimes be bought by the wholesale buyer during the SJR State Bookstore’s buyback. Books are typically used for two to four years from the copyright date, depending upon subject matter and update information. Some books are updated annually.

Items not generally bought back include, but are not limited to:
  1. Lab manuals
  2. Software
  3. Old, out-of-date editions
  4. Complimentary copies
  5. Teacher editions
  6. Workbooks
  7. Binder-style textbook (Pages can easily fall out of binder-style books; therefore, the Bookstore does not buy them back since we can’t ensure that all pages are intact for the following student)
Other factors influencing buyback:
  1. Condition of the textbook
  2. Some textbooks are only bought & sold in sets, including CDs, DVDs, solution manuals, or any other item sold as part of the text set. Incomplete sets will not be bought back.
  3. Current stock of used textbooks in the Bookstore
Some textbooks are used for multiple courses and should not be sold back if the student intends to take other courses that require the same textbook.

We cannot guarantee that your textbook(s) will be bought back. Ultimately, it is up to each Bookstore whether or not they are willing to buy back each textbook. The Bookstore is unable to give buy back pricing over-the-phone. Textbooks must be brought in to the Bookstore during the buyback dates & times to be given pricing. It is up to the student whether or not they sell their book(s) back to the Bookstore for the offered price.

*If the textbook purchase price included any access codes or consumable supplemental items, then the prices for these consumable items will be subtracted from the purchase price before determining buyback pricing.

Can I return textbooks that I bought from the Bookstore? more
Textbooks that were purchased from the Bookstore can be returned during the refund period. Note the textbook return deadline posted in the store or on the website or ask the cashier when purchasing textbooks. Receipts are required for all refunds or exchanges and books must be in the original conditions. See our Refund page for more information.