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The Why’s and How’s of Volunteering in College

College By January 13, 2021 No Comments

First, the WHY?

It pays to do the right thing! Besides the chance to do something nice for others, volunteering has many benefits for college students. So before you think your semester is too busy with school and work, consider these reasons to get out and serve…

According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering is associated with a 27% higher rate of employment because an employer is more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience. 

Volunteering helps students learn new skills with hands-on experience. Fill that resume with examples of problem-solving, and leadership. Plus it shows that you know how to manage your time balancing school and extracurricular activities. 

You can meet new people! Make friends outside the classroom and expand your connections on campus. Volunteering also lets students network with businesses and community leaders. And, you never know when a new connection will translate to an opportunity for you after school. 

Helping others through volunteering has several health benefits including decreasing stress, lowering depression, and lengthening your life according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, “The 6 Health Benefits of Volunteering”. Everyone can benefit from tasks that keep you physically and mentally active. 

Volunteering can give you a chance to break out of your comfort zone. If you are typically shy, try to volunteer for a setting that will have you speaking or presenting to gain confidence. Or you could use this as an opportunity to listen and learn from others whose life experiences are far different from your own. 

And finally, it doesn’t have to be completely altruistic. There are sometimes scholarships or paid opportunities that can result from volunteering. See what options are available in your school or community. Here is a list of “13 Community Service Scholarships”. 

Then the HOW?

Now that we’ve shown you some of the benefits of volunteering we’ve compiled a list of places to find volunteer opportunities: 

  • Campus Life or Student Activities Associations are a great place to start looking for opportunities in and around your school. 
  • Search for causes you care about such as animals, the environment, the arts, mentoring teens, or support something that has affected you or a family member like cancer. 

 Volunteers are needed now more than ever to help strengthen and support your community. Take action now! 



How to Spend Your Semester Break Wisely

College By December 23, 2020 Tags: , , No Comments

You finished your last exam.  Close your books, and look forward to a well-earned break from school. Before you think you’ve got nothing to do but binge-watch all the shows you missed, you might want to consider a few activities to make your next semester go smoothly. 


Order a few books now that you are sure you’re going to need and get a head start on that reading. It may feel tough to do this now but your future self will thank you. And BookScouter.com is the best place to find the lowest prices on those textbooks with our search tool that does all the work for you. 



Update your resume. It’s easier now while notable highlights from your semester are still top of mind. Plus you’ll have it ready for any opportunities that present themselves. 


Plan your calendar for the next semester noting any travel, deadlines for summer events, and any exams or paper due dates to begin to see any conflicts you may have. Don’t forget to keep looking for scholarships– they’re not just for freshmen. 


Look for volunteer opportunities. You might need service hours for school or scholarships, or you just might want to give some of your time. No matter your motivation, service hours are always beneficial and could lead to other opportunities (hint: internships)! Get started with Volunteer Match for opportunities in your area. 


Find seasonal work and make a few bucks for things you will need during the upcoming semester. This may also give you an advantage in finding work next summer. 


Continue to eat well, exercise, and get a proper amount of sleep. You’ll not only feel better but you’ll keep your immune system working at its best. 


Do something fun to reward yourself: watch a movie, pick a book you want to read, get takeout from a favorite restaurant. Don’t be a Scrooge, it is your break after all! 

We hope you’ll use your time off wisely and have a productive and fulfilling break! 



It’s a Wrap! Creative Ideas for Wrapping Books

General By December 16, 2020 No Comments

Giving an attractively wrapped book this holiday season doesn’t have to be costly. With a little extra ingenuity and a few items you might have around the house you can put a personal touch on a gift to make it more meaningful. And luckily, books are one of the easier items to wrap!

Choose a plain brown or white paper then you can stamp, string design, twine, or glue pompoms. Try newspapers, magazines, old maps, or recycled books to wrap a book as seen in this creative blog by JaneMeans.

Decorate the exterior with an ornament, greenery, pinecone, paper snowflake or feather, a vintage postcard, or old family photo.  Or attach a favorite sweet like a candy cane or a box of candy. You could cut illustrations from discarded children’s books to decorate or make colorful gift tags like the example on this blog at BookRiot

Give hints to the book’s interior with cookie cutters, art brushes, a magnifying glass, or a garden tool. 

Recycle and use parts of old clothes, a dishtowel, or a blanket as a unique wrapping idea from blogger Creating Really Awesome Fun Things

And finally, consider topping it off with a beautiful bow or ribbon. Blogger Rosemary & Thyme suggests stocking up during sales at craft stores, home goods stores, or even a dollar store. Steeper discounts on ribbons are after Christmas for you to use next season.

But remember, no matter how you wrap a book as a gift, it’s the thought that counts. And remember to use BookScouter to find the BEST prices to buy and sell books. 

Happy Holidays!



Holiday Gift Guide: Books and Other Gifts for Book Lovers

General By December 10, 2020 No Comments

It’s that time of year when your thoughts turn to finding that special holiday gift for friends and family who are book lovers. But what should be a fun, festive task can quickly become overwhelming. We’ve done some of the leg work for you compiling a collection of 14 unique, niche book selections and other gifts reading fans will appreciate. And don’t forget the BEST way to be sure you are getting the lowest prices on books is to use the handy search tools on Bookscouter.com –we do all the work of searching for you!

1. We suggest you begin with Book Riot’s “10 rules for Giving Book Gifts” (hint it’s okay to spy on them for ideas)

2. Check out “20 Books People Actually Want This Year” curated by the L.A. Times

3. Find your inner nerd and see what “Books for Geeks” is all about with options from Star Wars/Star Trek to Doctor Who (and Dungeons and Dragons has a cookbook?)

4. Say Cheese! Easy choices in the “Books for Cheese Lovers” category–there’s only two

5. But Thrillist gives several solid recommendations for the “Best Cocktail Books to Gift Your Friends” and who couldn’t use some extra liquid intelligence?

6. Fore! We suggest “7 Great Gold Books any Golf Fan Would Love for the Holidays” to help them get through the long winter months.

7. For the foodies in your life dig in to “Great Food Books for 2020” and have them make you the recommended rice pudding.

8. A list of items that are sooooo this year with “2020 Holiday Gift Guide: What to Purchase for a Year Like No Other–do these blue light glasses make me look smarter?

9. For the friend with a green thumb, we suggest “Gardening Gifts: From Pots to Tools to Books to Manure”.

10. “Gifts for Pets”–and yes books are listed!

11. Southern bookstores give recommendations in “15 Gift ideas for the Book Lovers in Your Life

12. But for the people that have EVERYTHING here is a list with ideas from mystery thrillers, coffee table books, sports, cooking, bios, and music “Books Gifts for Everyone on Your List

13. The best gifts for bookworms that aren’t just another classic novel “20 Gift Ideas For Bookworms (That Aren’t More Books)

14. And finally Stocking Stuffers Ideas because, duh, books are hard to fit inside a stocking!

Happy Shopping!

p.s. In case you don’t get the book you want…. here is advice on how to sell unwanted holiday gifts


What’s Cookin’? Cookbook Values Can Heat Up

General By November 11, 2020 No Comments

It’s the time of year for a lot of holiday cooking and baking. As you dust off an old cookbook and consider letting it go to make extra space, you might want to first check BookScouter.com to see the current value. If it’s really old, you may want to have it appraised by an antique book dealer. You might decide to hold on to it and then pass it down to a family member. Perhaps you come across a rare find and decide to sell it. Or you might decide that a vintage cookbook would make a thoughtful gift for a cook or collector you know. 

Why are cookbooks so beloved? Cookbooks are often a snapshot in time. They can take you back in time to a kitchen from any decade; to a childhood favorite or even to another century to recreate the past. Cookbooks can take you places; peruse recipes from a favorite restaurant or try exotic dishes from a faraway country. Cookbooks can do more than just provide a recipe, they often tell the story behind the dishes and give insights into their creation. 

As you move forward with buying, selling, or collecting cookbooks here are a few things to keep in mind:

Use All of BookScouter’s Resources

You can check a cookbook’s ISBN to see the SELL value but did you also know you can do a keyword search to buy cookbooks on our site?

Determining Value

Why are some cookbooks worth more than others? Check out this article by The Spruce Crafts that explores why some cookbooks hold a higher value–hint it has nothing to do with the food.

Collectors’ Enjoyment

Learn some of the histories from kitchens of the past in this article from Estate.org titled, “A Guide to American Vintage Cookbooks” which shares cookbook selections dating back to the 1700s up through World War II. 

High-Priced Cookbook Sales 

AbeBooks has compiled a list of the 10 most expensive cookbooks ever sold from their stores. You may be able to guess which country the top priced one is from, but you won’t believe the price! 

Keep your eyes open–you never know when you might come across a truly unique find. Happy hunting!


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.