There’s nothing more discouraging for a student than hearing that the high cost of tuition is paired with the high cost of textbooks.
Heavy moans and multiple complaints circle the classroom as the professor makes sympathetic statements like
“I know the book is expensive, but you’re going need it to pass this class.”
Now that school is officially in session, professors have started assigning chapters to read and papers to write.
So attempting to slide through class without a textbook can become a major challenge.
While there are certainly ways of getting around buying textbooks such as borrowing a classmate’s, making photocopies, or taking word-for-word notes in class, there is a new alternative that allows students to buy the books they need at prices they can afford.
Jacksonville natives James Breaker, 24, and Jamar Breaker, 21, introduce Books4thalow.com, a Web site that services the demand for textbooks in the college setting.
What makes Books4thalow.com so unique is that its creators are two of the university’s own.
The Breaker brothers say they coined the idea for the Web site after enduring the frustrations associated with not only with the high cost of books, but also with the inadequate service they received at bookstores.
“We are students ourselves and we got tired of getting the run around to get books for class. Many times we didn’t receive our books until midway through the semester because the bookstore was either out of books or the books were overpriced,” said James, a senior business administration student.
James said he and his brother wanted to do something to give back to the students and tackle a major problem. “We decided to take on the challenge,” he added.
With the additional assistance from Director of Graphic Communication Arvid Mukes and business professor Norman Jakes, Books4thalow.com was established in May.
Books4thalow.com offers students the chance to purchase their books for 20 to 30 percent off of the price of the bookstore and also receive more back through open exchange with their fellow students.
The added bonus to the Web site is students can also sell their used books there.
“Students can register on the site and sell their books. We don’t take any profit from the selling of these used books; we just want the students to have a different option instead of having to take the book back to the bookstore every time,” said Jamar, a junior graphic communication student.
Other services on the site include school necessities such as calculators, organizers, and programs for computer information systems students. The site offers a number of options for delivery ranging from next-day to standard 2 to 3 day delivery.
“Right now, we are running a promotion this semester that will allow a representative from the company to bring books to the students,” James said.
James added that students have already started making use of the Web site.
However, for many students the FAMU bookstore is still the major provider of textbooks.
Jamel Crawford, 22, a senior, criminal justice student from Atlanta said he purchased all of his books from the campus bookstore. His only complaint was about the crowded atmosphere.
ShardÃ© Saviory, 18, a sophomore English student from Orlando opted to buy her books from other online sources like Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com.
Saviory said she would be willing to buy her books from Books4thalow.com in the future.
” It sounds like I could get my books cheaper while buying them from other students, so why not?” she said.
According to James, it won’t be long until the word gets out. He said he hopes to open students’ eyes to a different method of purchasing their books.
“Books4thalow.com is for the students. Due to the increase in tuition, Books4thalow.com serves as a form of economic relief for higher learning,” James said. “It’s important to get the students involved in this movement because there is power in numbers. We do have a say in how we spend our money and we can change the system.”
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