Textbook supplements worth keeping

Matt Kuhns

Iowa State students should pay special notice to textbook supplements because these easy-to-misplace items could cause headaches for some when trying to return or sell their textbooks later.

Textbook supplements, such as CD-ROMs or other special items, are sold together with books for various reasons, said Jackie Slaughter, University Book Store book division manager.

“The instructor orders [a textbook] like that or the publisher requires it that way,” Slaughter said.

Nick Bofferding, junior in computer science, said he tried to sell a macroeconomics book back to the bookstore and was turned down because he did not have the supplement. However, he said there was not a supplement sold with the book when he bought it.

Bofferding said after he purchased the book the bookstore began selling it with a CD-ROM included on the inside back cover.

Whether the bookstore will buy back a textbook without its supplement depends on whether the professor has re-ordered the book and supplement as a set, Slaughter said.

“If they’re not required [by the professor], I don’t require them,” she said.

If both items were reordered together, often the bookstore will only buy them back together, but Slaughter said most students do not have a problem with this.

When students try to sell a book without the supplement, it is usually because they simply forgot to bring it, Slaughter said.

“It’s very rare students don’t know where [the supplement] is,” she said.

In cases where students do not have a textbook’s supplement, Slaughter said the bookstore occasionally will buy it back.

She said sometimes the bookstore is able to purchase just the supplementary materials from the distributor so they can buy the textbooks from students and put together complete sets.