Snapshots of Brown: Bookin’ It (and updates!)

books!Welcome to Snapshots of Brown, your destination for pics of Brown all year long! I’m Celina Stewart, and I’ll be bringing you little photo insights into my third year on Brown’s campus. What’s up this week? Let’s take a look… 

Well, sorry to disappoint. My week has been, in a sense, all about the mailroom. However, when I tried to take a ~creeper~ pic of the mailroom to show it to you, I mostly got the tops of heads and a couple strange looks from bystanders. SO, I’m focusing on something equally important: the reason why I’ve been going to the mailroom, almost every day (sometimes twice a day!). Books! Finally, having settled on classes, I’ve started ordering books. Wanna learn more about our bookstore, the mailroom, and how to keep your wallet somewhat stuffed during the book buying process? (and updates on this column?!)….So by now, you know the process: we get syllabi, start to do reading, and try to keep our purchases as economical as possible. But did you know that at Brown, there are a ton of options for ordering books?

If you want to go the super-saver route, most books are held on reserve at the library, or are occasionally found online through either Brown’s library, or a participating institution’s library. Many courses also offer the reading entirely online- I’m taking a seminar that uses news articles, academic publications, and e-books only, which is a huge relief on my wallet.

If you’re like me and often need to keep books for a significant amount of time, or want to take notes in them, the Brown Bookstore is a good resource. You can purchase books, either new or used, or rent them for a cheaper price. Often, this is helpful for the first week or two of class- you can get a couple books cheap (most used books don’t even have notes in them, so you’re basically getting a discounted new book). The best part? You can sell them back to Amazon or another textbook retailer for more than the bookstore would offer you!

I’ve been doing that, but recently invested in Amazon Prime- you know where this is going. Giant snow storm, books arriving late: the mailroom. However, now I’m able to buy books for less cost than the bookstore, receive them in the mail with free shipping, and sell them back for more money at the end of the year! Even if you don’t have Prime, other dealers like ThriftBooks can offer you books for cheap- with shipping costs included, they’re still often cheaper than buying new textbooks directly from Brown.

One other option to be aware of is Allegra Printing- the green book under the rentals in the photo shows my course reader. Often, professors use course readers to supplement the textbooks with articles, independent translations, or selections they feel are especially poignant from larger books. You have to go to the printer on Thayer Street, and they’ll give it to you on the spot.

Some updates: I got some great feedback from our Editor/Blog Guru (based on your input, I believe) that I should start showing you guys some of the events and activities I do, instead of writing only topical posts. Thanks for letting me know what you all are looking for! I know this week follows the previous trend on this column, but I have some events coming up I’ll be sure to document for you all as well. As always, if you have anything you’d like to see or hear from me, feel free to reach out and email me.

And, if you want to see more snapshots (from fellow bloggers and Brown tour guides), you can also check out the @thebruinclub Twitter, which is updated daily with photos and FAQs!

Want more snapshots and FAQ updates? Check out @thebruinclub on Twitter! Have questions or comments for me? Want more details? Send an email to and I’ll get back ASAP!


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