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Introducing Bookup

The Skinny on Bookup

  • Directly connects students to buy, sell or trade textbooks.
  • Offers students the option to save on shipping by meeting up on campus.
  • Allows users to swap books for free.
  • Created by GSU students for GSU students.
  • Launching May 2013!
Sign up for Bookup!

I don’t like buying textbooks. The process is a constant balancing act between lose-lose trade-offs. Want books quickly and conveniently? You’d better be prepared to pay sticker price. Want books cheaply? I hope you like waiting two weeks into the semester to finally receive the book you ordered from an online retailer.

Bookup is a reinvention of the textbook buying process. It’s an experiment, a for-students-by-students tool. My co-founders, Georgia State University students Jay Moran and Dinesh Agarwal, are spearheading this project, which is born out of the crazy idea that maybe there’s a way GSU students could quickly and cheaply get textbooks for a semester.

Here’s how it will work: rather than hunting for books in an inventory, Bookup users list books they need for the upcoming semester as well as books they want to sell, and then Bookup does the rest. Bookup matches users based on corresponding needs and directly connects them with each other.

So if you are simultaneously seeking an economics textbook for the new semester and looking to sell a statistics book that you don’t need anymore, Bookup will do its damnedest to make that happen in as few transactions as possible by connecting you to the right people. In this situation, Bookup would ideally find someone who just took economics and is now about to start statistics, allowing you to just conduct a direct trade. Yes, that’s right! Users can avoid buying and selling altogether and just swap.

Since we’re tailoring Bookup to GSU specifically, this means a few things:

  1. Users will be able to find books they need easily, since Bookup users are a closed pool of students who are taking the same classes.
  2. Students buying, trading or selling books can arrange to meet in person to avoid shipping costs.
  3. Bookup will be a small-scale, highly specialized service. This means we’ll greatly value the feedback of other GSU students who have ideas or textbook needs not already addressed by Bookup.

Bookup will be going into beta May 2013. We hope that you’ll join us in our experiment in affordable textbook exchange!

About Piper

Piper is a guest contributor at She works as a full-time writer and copy editor in Savannah, Ga., where she can be found wringing her hands over Oxford Commas and swilling loose leaf tea.

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