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Find Spooky Books for a Ghoul’d Price

General By October 7, 2020 No Comments

It’s that time of year when you begin to feel a chill in the air, the dark nights start to get longer and you yearn to curl up with a suspenseful tale. We get your October mood and have compiled some Spooky reading suggestions–with links to finding a GHOUL’D, no, the BEST prices online using BookScouter. No need to get scared–our pricing tool does all the price searching for you. So check out our list, but BEWARE of what great books you may find.

Classic Horror- you know the stories but have you read the tale?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


Made into a movie-try the original source material that inspired the film

The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier

Hellraiser by Clive Barker

Carrie by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King

Psycho by Robert Bloch

The Exorcist by William Peter Blattey

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Vamps, Witches, and Werewolves- take a bite out of one of these series

Stephanie Myers – The Twilight Series

Cassandra Claire – The Mortal Instruments Series 

Anne Rice – Vampire Chronicles 

Deborah Harkness – All Souls Trilogy 

Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls 

Christine Johnson – Claire de Lune series


Short stories- great to read out loud if you dare

Edgar Allan Poe – There are various collections of his short stories

Alvin Schwartz – Three Volumes of Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark 

Henry James – The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories 

Too Scary–you may wish you hadn’t read

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

The Shining – Stephen King

Carrion Comfort – Dan Simmons

Ghost Story – Peter Straub

Bird Box – Josh Malerman


Not too scary–share with your little monsters

Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman – Washington Irving 

Ghosts in the House! – Kazuno Kohara

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt – Riel Nason

Creepy Pair of Underwear! – Aaron Reynolds

Herbert’s First Halloween – Cynthia Rylant and Steven Henry

Zombelina – Kristyn crow and Molly Idle

How to Catch a Monster – Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

Bonaparte Falls Apart – Marjorie Cuyler

Scooby-Doo: A Haunted Halloween – Gail Herman

And finally, you don’t have to take our word on it. Here are a few other lists of spooky Halloween reads: 

Goodreads Halloween 

Oprah Best Halloween Books 

Read It Forward Halloween Books to Spook Your Socks Off

Best Halloween Picture Books 

Buzzfeed 13 Witchy Tales to Keep you Spellbound 

To get in the proper horror reading mood, check out this video for a reading of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe read by Vincent Price, Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, and Christopher Lee.


Five Ideas to Find Your Next Great Read

General By September 23, 2020 No Comments

Itching to read a good page-turner? Just finish the final book in a multi-volume series? Need to make a vetted suggestion for your next book club? Here are five ideas on how to find your next great read…

Idea No. 1

BookScouter has just formed a partnership with Goodreads which is a popular destination for finding book reading recommendations. Simply tell them what books you’ve enjoyed reading in the past and they will present you with some great options. And you can link socially to friends and family to see what they’re reading or search through their book reviews. And the beauty of the BookScouter partnership is you can add us as a preferred “store” (under account settings Book Links tab) when you find a book you want to buy and it will link to our site to search for the best price through our large offering of online vendors. 

BookRiot is another great spot to find book recommendations. They are the largest independent editorial site in the U.S. and focus on covering a wide range for diverse readers. They have podcasts, blogs, or you can sign-up for more personalized recommendations and exclusive content. Their EPIC BOOK READ is a quarterly book club with options for short stories, novels and epic reads for a low monthly price. 


Idea No. 2

Award lists are a good go-to for finding a book. National and international lists appear annually such as the Pulitzer, Nobel, Booker, Newbery, and many more.  And you can challenge yourself to complete an award list by going back decades to find selections. Or you can select award lists based upon a favorite genre to find the best Sci-Fi offerings for example. Likewise, you can view lists based on sales such as the New York Times Bestsellers list. 

Idea No. 3

Another great way to find a good book suggestion is to join a book club. Often a book club will challenge members to try offerings outside their standard selections. And because you want to join in the discussions there is a motivation to finish the book. You can find book clubs at local libraries, online, in Facebook groups, or start your own with a group of friends or associates. 

Idea No. 4 

Don’t be afraid to work your connections. Hit up friends and family who are readers. Notice when someone mentions a book on social media and jot it down for later. Follow the hashtag #bookstagram on Instagram. Have a favorite guru? Often they produce reading lists you can find online. Search engines can be your best source of inspiration. 

Idea No. 5

And finally, our last idea for finding book recommendations is to judge a book by its cover. Browse a library or bookstore, view covers online, and see what catches your eye then read a synopsis or review. You might capture your mood that day and find inspiration from a cover that resonates with you at the moment. 

Happy Hunting and good luck finding your next great read! 



Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

General By September 9, 2020 No Comments

Common Mistakes Students Make With Money

Part of the learning experience of being a college student is managing your own finances for the first time.  That independence can also introduce a wealth of pitfalls!  Here are some common mistakes students make with money and how you can avoid them.

Failing to Set a Budget

Start by determining a budget. Items to include in your budget: any monthly bills, expenses like groceries, miscellaneous charges, and a fund to cover unexpected expenses. Know how much ‘fun money’ you can spend each month and when it’s gone, stop spending! It may sound simple but you need to have a handle on your income and be able to distinguish needs from wants. 

Now is the best time to learn smart budgeting habits that can benefit you beyond college. Here are some tips to learn how to set a budget or try a free and easy app like Mint that automatically helps set up a budget you can customize. 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Letting Credit Card Debt Add Up

How much is a t-shirt worth?  Financial institutions often offer enticements like t-shirts or discounts if you apply for their credit card.  However, if you don’t pay off the balance every month, the interest piles up fast.  Not only does each item you charged end up costing a lot more than you bargained for, but this will affect your credit score as well. 

DaveRamsey.com advises students “…credit card companies take advantage of this lack of knowledge by making college students—especially incoming college freshmen—their target audience…The college-bound kids you know will more than likely fall into this trap of “normal” unless you arm them now before it’s too late! They don’t realize that the decisions they will make in the next four years can affect them for the next 40 years.” 

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Overspending Financial Aid

Some financial aid will let you apply funding towards eligible living expenses like housing, food, and school supplies. But that doesn’t mean you can go crazy with expensive meals and over-the-top decor. Read “Seven Ways Students Overspend” in this article and don’t fall into these traps 

Students should understand that their funding has to last throughout the semester. Try to use it to pay for only necessary items. Then if you have money left over at the end of the semester, they can roll it forward to use for the next semester, which cuts down the amount of money you will need to borrow.

Common Mistakes Students Make with Money

Not Shopping Smart

Watch for items that can make you easily overspend; tech, clothes, food, textbooks.  Do you need the brand name or would a less-expensive substitute suffice? Doing your homework on price comparisons can save you a pretty penny.  One of the best ways to shop smart is to use the Textbook Price Comparison Tool at BookScouter.com to see the best prices to Buy, Rent, and Sell textbooks. 

Don’t miss the chances to save money as a student–get student discounts, use the campus facilities to save money on a gym membership, attend free events at school rather than paying to go out. 

Not Scheduling Classes Right or Failing a Class

At first glance, this might seem like a small thing, but it can still cost you in the long run. 

If a student wants to drop a class and do it before the deadline, it’s fine. But if you miss it there are fines, which is just wasted money. And failing a class is even worse.  In both cases, you’ve also lost time by missing a chance to take a class to help graduate on time. Even adding a single additional semester adds up financially and could delay graduation. It could also mean that you have an overloaded semester to make up the difference which is a bigger strain on your time. 

Extra time in school means more than just extra tuition, it means years of lost wages, and less money put into retirement. So prepare wisely to avoid mistakes with your schedule and use resources like your college advisor to plan out a clear path to graduation. 

In conclusion, for many young people, college is their first money management experience. One of the leading reasons that students drop out of college is because of finances – which is often due to poor money management. See the bigger picture with a long future ahead of you and learn how to make better decisions with your money!


Awesome Apps Every College Student Needs

College, Mobile By August 27, 2020 No Comments

Awesome Apps Every College Student Needs

Sometimes the difference between success and failure is having the right tools. Luckily for students today there are a ton of great apps that are often free to help them get through a busy semester. Work smarter in college (no way!) with these awesome apps that we picked to assist with everything from notetaking and time-management, to sleep and healthy eating.  You should totally check these out…

Use in the classroom

Soundnote – lets you type or draw while recording a lecture

Evernote – takes notes, to-do lists, reminders, clip anything from the web and share easily with classmates

Otter – records lectures and lets you do keyword searches 

OfficeLens – converts images like whiteboards to editable documents

awesome apps every college student needs

Use to study for exams

StudyBlue – a top site for flashcards, content library and works with different student learning styles 

Brainscape – make flashcards customizable or use their for standardized exams like the GRE or MCAT

GoConqr – offers flashcards and quizzes plus tools like Mind Maps to connect complex concepts

TopGrade –  another great choice for flashcards, courses, quizzes, and a bonus–language tutorials

Use to write a paper

Grammarly – checks grammar, wordiness, and works on lots of platforms

EasyBib – use for creating your citations in the proper style format

Coggle – create a Mind Map to structure your paper

Dragon Dictation – this app is handy if you aren’t a fast typer or you can use to break writer’s block

awesome apps every college student needs

Use to get organized

Timetable – very aesthetically pleasing time management app is easy to set up and has lots of options to customize 

myHomework – try this cross-platform organizer to access assignments and reminders for due dates

Mint – manage your money, track your monthly spending, and set a budget–good lessons to learn for life

Flipd – helps keep your focus and manage your time 

awesome apps every college student needs

Use for your well being

SleepCycle – track, monitor and analyze to get your best sleep

Alarmy – you are NOT sleeping through this alarm

Fooducate – track your eating and set goals –bonus it tells you foods to stay away from

MapMyFitness – lets you find running routes, link with lots of devices, and challenge friends

Wisedrinking – responsible drinking app to track alcohol consumption

Smartwatcher – connect with other friends to let them know where you are and stay safe walking home

And finally, don’t forget an app you’ll Use to Save Time and Money: BookScouter.com  to help you quickly find the best prices from the most vendors to buy, sell, or rent your textbooks. Available in the app store for IOS or Android.


8 Proven Tips to Ace College Move-In Day

College, General By August 12, 2020 No Comments

8 Proven Tips to Ace College Move-In Day

After waiting all summer, your college move-in day is finally arriving! There is a lot of work that goes into moving to a school across the country, across the state, or even across town. Don’t panic, we’ve assembled time-proven recommendations to ensure your dorm move-in goes as smoothly as possible with 8 tips to ace your first day on campus.

1. Be smart

  • Look up floor plans, email RA for rules, and organize at home as much as possible
  • Beat the rush and get there early. You might get first pick on a side of the room and avoid the lines for elevators
  • Dress comfy and be sure you don’t lock yourself out of your room or building

2. Bring this

Ready-made Packing Lists are a great short cut. Here are two we thought covered a lot of essentials:

  • Off to College Checklist 
  • The Ultimate College Packing Checklist
  • Wardrobe–don’t get carried away with too many t-shirts and shoes, but pack enough socks and underwear in case laundry doesn’t get done as frequently as you’d like. Limit yourself to one formal outfit and winter coat–climate-appropriate of course!
  • And don’t forget to look for ways to save money and time such as these great tips

3. Don’t bring this

  • Check your school’s specific guidelines but as a general rule do not bring: appliances like a hotplate, toaster, candles, incense, firearms, window a/c units, or pets
  • See if your dorm provides: trash can, mini-fridge, microwave, mirror, or lockbox
  • And finally, your Dorm’s RA (Resident Assistant) might have access to infrequently used items like a vacuum or iron

4. Space-saving tips

  • Find hidden spaces-under beds (loft or use risers), behind doors, bedside pockets or a mattress caddy
  • Use hooks with command strips for backpacks, towels, laundry bags, etc. and keep less clutter on the ground
  • Add an additional hanging rod underneath your closet rod to double your closet space

5. The Roommate factor

  • You might want to hold off until you talk to your roommate about a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, electric kettle, blackout curtains, and a rug
  • If you have a shared bathroom, talk with your roommate about: hand towels, soap, bath mat, curtain and rod, plunger/scrubber, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies
  • And last not least don’t forget and duplicate your Entertainment setup: TV, streaming device, and game systems

6. Books

  • The earlier you purchase books the better chance you have of getting the best selection of used books
  • Check your professor’s syllabi –do you need those books’ access codes?
  • The best way to compare prices for books is with BookScouter.com. We answer the question, “Should I buy or rent?” and “Should I get physical books or digital books?” Our pricing tools make it easy and can even show you the potential buyback prices to sell your books back at the end of the semester

7. Safety

  • Tell a friend about your plans when you go out
  • Park your car or bike safe locations, under lights, if possible
  • Use Campus Security options for a ride to your car or dorm
  • If you run alone outdoors don’t use headphones or earbuds and vary your route

8. COVID adaptations

  • See if your school requires any of the following items: masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, disposable gloves, and a thermometer
  • Check for any changes to how meals are served on campus, building access and protocols for things like accessing the workout facilities
  • Be sure to do things to help your mental health–get outdoors, workout, and talk with friends and family
  • Be open to change and willing to adapt during these times

Pros & Cons of eTextbooks

College By July 23, 2020 No Comments

Pros & Cons of eTextbooks

Points to Consider

Students have many considerations to make when selecting textbooks: new or used, rent or buy, and print or digital eBooks. Quite often the decision comes down to a student’s learning style and their understanding of the limitations of each option. In this blog, we are breaking down the pros and cons of eTextbooks, as well as discussing how students learn from each format (Spoiler Alert! You retain more reading the paper version).

Pros of eTextbooks

  • May have cheaper upfront costs (know for sure by checking prices on BookScouter.com)
  • Can buy or rent
  • Can have multiple books on one device
  • Less to carry and store
  • Can’t lose or damage a digital version
  • Most up-to-date version
  • Full-text searches and highlight capabilities
  • May have interactive features like flashcards, videos, and quizzes
  • Purchase instantly with quick downloads
  • Can access without internet after you download
  • Don’t have to bother with returns or reselling; access to rentals just expires automatically

Cons of eTextbooks

  • Can’t resell and get some money back
  • Can’t be read on some mobile devices due to screen size
  • Strict return policies based on number of days, percentage of book viewed, using any access codes, etc. (here is one return policy for example)
  • Limited by battery life for reading device
  • Screen fatigue and eyesight strain
  • Easier to get distracted with additional notifications on a device
  • Limited device downloads
  • May have to download multiple eReader apps for different books
  • Depending on the publisher, may not be able to print or cut and paste from an eBook
  • Page numbers might not match supporting materials

Final Thought: Which format is better for studying?

Finally, there are differences of opinion on which format is better for student learning. Proponents state that eBooks are designed to keep students engaged with highlights and annotations while allowing them to easily share notes with peers or teachers. Furthermore, embedded hyperlinks let students quickly reference additional information. However, research has also shown that students learn better from printed books. When tested, students were able to recall more key points and details from the printed material than when reading from a digital copy. Some of the differences can be attributed to time, with students scrolling at a faster pace through the digital material.

Ultimately, no matter which format you choose, there is a place for both variations in your studies if you understand the pros and cons of eTextbooks.


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