Save Money Buying Books During the Pandemic!

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Published on April 28, 2020

As our virtual semester approaches its long anticipated close, the time has come again to think about registration and book purchasing for the Fall of 2020. Despite the HCC bookstore being closed, like the rest of the College, the bookstore managers have been hard at work developing an easy process for students to return and purchase their books. 

HCC bookstore clerk Pam Stevens has come up with several different resources for students who need to purchase books for next semester and return their rentals from this semester. This includes introducing an online database known as “Red Shelf,” the bookstore’s preferred provider of e-books and other digital course materials. According to Stevens, 80% of HCC’s course titles can be found at no cost to the students through Red Shelf! If you find yourself in a spot where your book isn’t available, the HCC bookstore, where online orders are processed twice a week, will send your book to you free of shipping charges.

Stevens, who prefers that students buy their books directly from the HCC bookstore, does suggest that if you are going to use outside sources to purchase your books, such as Amazon or Chegg, to ensure that you are buying the right edition. 

Stevens warns, “More often than not, an outside source via a private seller, will send an incorrect edition or not include an access code with the textbook.  Textbooks that are custom for HCC, are not available elsewhere as they are printed on demand for the college.”

For those who will need to return their rentals at the end of the semester, you can find free shipping labels back to the bookstore at The return date, which would originally be one week after classes ends, has been extended without penalty to allow extra time for mail-in returns. 

Stevens recommends the e-book to those students shopping on a budget.

I will say that most students prefer an actual textbook, but as e-learning takes hold, I expect more students may opt for a digital version of a textbook.  On a side note, textbooks available to rent are the number one choice for students.  Students can save up to 75% on a rental title,” she says.

All in all, the bookstore is here to help you purchase your textbooks in the most efficient, cost effective way this semester. Stevens, who is available via email at [email protected], or by calling the bookstore at (203) 335-2949, sums up the bookstore’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic with this statement: “As we all continue to adapt to the challenges we are facing during this crisis, HCC’s bookstore is committed to supporting our students and the e-learning process.”