How to SAVE money on textbooks, just a sharing!

Oolala, summer is staying while Fall is coming! How can I explain how much I love schools and having classes without getting those “are you serious?” eyes? Well, putting my excitement aside, here comes the worries about new semester “bleeding” for every budget tied college folks. Everyone knows how ridiculous textbooks prices are!

If you are one of us, you are in the right page. Here we goes and starts saving!

I’m an art students, so many of my classes doesn’t need a textbook, so for the coming semester I need two textbooks. Here is the one, for Human Anatomy! Let’s take this one as the example. You go to your campus bookstore website, normally they have scary number. Don’t laugh, I rent all my textbooks from them my first semester in America. This one they rent out for 76.56 dollars, almost the same price for etextbook rent.

Your Customized Textbook List---Mississippi University for Women-Bookstore

If you don’t know, you should go and check it right now. Copy the ISDN and search in bookfinder. You can find different offer from a big number of websites. Much better than you search them one by one and compare the prices by yourself. Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare BooksHere is the result! You got a brand new one at around 53 and a second hand one at 49. Pay attention here! The second hand one shows it is international edition. Here is how AbeBooks describes international edition textbooks:

“Looking for affordable textbooks? Consider international editions – textbooks that have been published outside the US. These books are usually significantly cheaper than textbooks published in the US. Offering tremendous value, international edition textbooks are created to be sold in different regions and are often printed on cheaper paper and are usually softcover. The content may be the same as the U.S. version, or may have differences such as the book cover, ISBN, pagination, or region code

Customers located in the US can now purchase international edition textbooks.  However, note that the publishers of international editions generally do not authorize the sale and distribution of international editions in Canada and such sale or distribution may violate the copyrights and trademarks of the publishers of such works.”

3But wait a second, can we find cheaper ones? Here using google, we can find the ISDN for international edition. which is usually not the same as the edition we find on campus bookstore.



Now we got the ISDN, go back and check in bookfinder again, and that’s where we were leaded. Here is one at 29.99, second hand in Amazon. Sorry I got the one at 28 dollar.



Final action, order it. The shipping fee is 3.99 dollars, so the totally fee is 31.99 dollars. Compared to the beginning 75 dollars for rent, we got our own book for even less than half price. After semester goes, you can sell it again, and get some more money back.


Well, that’s all about searching cheap textbooks. I’m sure there are many others ways you can find good prices, I have a friend who can find free etextbooks online and you can also check libraries. Yeah, I know I have another textbook I need to get, it’s for 19 century European Art History. Since I just got the call from my campus library that they are holding the book for me, so… I’m ready for my new exciting semester!

Enjoy your rest  of the holiday!






Miss. Lulu’s Art Classes

Let me introduce you to the new art teacher in Columbus Art Council! Haha, yes I became a teacher again after my teaching in South Korea and China. Can’t be more excited!

After solving all my drivers’ license, CPT, offer and visa problem, I started my teaching in Art Council Summer Camp in June.

student's work Chloe was not really confident with drawing, usually she would be the first one shouting: ” No, I can’t do that!” But she told me that she had a sister who was a wonderful fashion designer and she was so proud of her. So I asked her if she wanted to design something herself, too. Take a look her first design! I just love it!

photography class Teaching photography with those kids can be always inspiring and fun. They are energetic, smart and always eager to learn new things. We went outside, tried to catch motion at different shutter speed. We also tried cyanotype photography. We even made a paper camera by ourselves! Time just goes too fast!

Liz is copying her Chinese nameI’m surprised by their interests in Chinese culture. They never stopped asking me write their names in Chinese, asking if Mulan is real, asking about Great Wall and schools in China…. Most time in America, I will be told or forced to listen other people’s opinions about China or Asia, most time, people believed in our own ideas and closed the door for a second thought. Sometimes, having a open mind like a kid become such a challenge. A lesson for all of us, the adults believing “I’m right”.

Eyes on New York


My late traveling note


It’s about a week since we arrived NYC. Walking in the messy subway stations, there are always some new idea jumping out, about NY, changing all the time. You can never catch it before you write it down.


It was a early morning we set off to our new journey. A shining limo parking in front of our campus gate ready to drive us to the nearby train station ( before I got my lovely mercury, that was our only way leaving Columbus), the drivers open the door for us. Here we go!Our brand new winter journey! It was a three-week travel, Louise and I visited Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Washington DC. Driving all the way from Washington D.C. back to Columbus, MS, when Jonathan, our awesome friend picked us up in Washington, just imagine how much we miss our little southern town! We enjoyed one more Chinese meal in China Town, and said byebye to Washington.

我们整整两周的时间都耗在了纽约城,这座城市复杂而充满故事,却完全不如想象中高高在上盛气凌人。我想纽约的气势在于她的不在乎,她不在乎你对其的看法,任由杂乱拥挤,她只顾自己。有张明信片上就用涂鸦的文字写着“You can’t stop New York City.(你无法阻止纽约城。)”身处纽约,你要么旁观,要么放弃,要么投身进步履匆忙的人群,成为纽约的一部分。纽约从不为谁改变。这样一座城市,是需要消耗精力去适应进而享受的。

Two in three week traveling, we spend in NYC. It’s complicated and full of stories, but surprisingly, not as ( to be continued…)



纽约的住宿贵得吓人,一天晚上一间普通的房间往往要一百到三百美金不等。而且据说圣诞新年这样的假期,纽约的空房率从来没有高过百分之十五,Lonely planet甚至建议半年前就开始找地方住。为了弄到住的地方我们也是颇费了一番心思。每天发上十来封邮件四处搜索,最后终于弄到了纽约中央公园北边一间公寓,公寓本身是一百二十美金一天再加上百分之十四点多的税,有两个卧室,一个客厅,一个厨房,一个卫生间,房间非常舒服,厨房也是设施齐备。大概是在纽约找房子太不容易,我在couchsurfing上发了个帖子后,很多人都回复愿意跟我们合租。我跟其中几个看起来比较靠谱的沙发客联系了,最终确定了一个台湾的摄影师,一个加拿大的厨师,一个纽约大学的交换生,还有一个卡梅隆大学的中国留学生一起租房。就这样,我们刚到纽约不仅交上了好些有意思的朋友,也把住宿费大大压缩了下。



纽约的匆忙拥挤会让人渴望清净,书店和图书馆成了最吸引我的地方。Strand Bookstore,这间世界上最大的二手书店,是我最爱的纽约的一部分。美国的书籍一向贵的吓人,在这里却能搜寻到几美金的好书,我忍不住买了好几本一直特别想看的小说还有一本包含全美国的lonely planet,这系列的旅行圣经一直是我最喜欢的,另外我还在唐人街找到了一个中文书店弄到了一本有关旅行的中文书《独立,从一个人的旅行开始》。于是睡觉前,在地铁里和咖啡馆的时间都成了我的阅读时间,古语说:“读万卷书,行万里路。”可以一边旅行一边读一些好书,多惬意。


我常常问自己旅行的意义是什么,为什么非要离开安逸舒适熟悉的床铺跑到一个从未踏及的地盘里折腾。 《独立,从一个人旅行开始》说旅行多少是为了逃避现实,我不太同意。为什么旅行就不能是现实?就好像在中国有种说法,念书的大学生是不了解现实的,但是到底什么是现实?我们去超市买菜做饭,跟路人打招呼,找工作挣钱,考驾照,去健身房锻炼,洗碗打扫房间,谈恋爱,吵架,看书看电影……为什么不能是现实?如果我们的生活不是现实,那是不是说我们就生活在虚拟中?或者明了说,说这样的话人可能认为不用工作,太美好或太单纯就不算是现实,因为现实”必定“是令人倦怠无奈的,因为这多少是他们从自己的生活或者道听途说中得出的结论。我认为,把美好的事物简单地排除在”现实“之外跟王小波笔下文革时军代表论小红书以外的书都是祸害是一个思维模式。旅途中的所闻所见,比其躲在家中嚼舌根所得到的现实要多得多。当然跟着导游四处送钱的旅行不太能算在内。说“用旅行来逃离现实”,其实只是逃离自己弄糟的一部分生活而已,面对是是另一种生活,也是现实。焦头烂额地考虑住宿,门票,车费,景点真是能让人转移注意力的好途径。其实这次旅行我的私心也算类似,除了出门走走,也是跳出一个圈子,给自己更多选择,然后才能决定一些事情。走的地方多了,会发现如果困囿于一个地方就很难做出最佳选择,这大概就是人们常说是视野吧。

enjoy in Beijing

After I come back to Beijing, I started to prepare for US visa and applying another art college in Detroit after I got an offer from MUW, meet a lot of friends. I also bought a new Qipao, an old style Chinese  dress.

Something amazing happened, when I was applying CCS, the art college I was interested. I knew I need a portfolio about my photography, but Form and Space in the last semester in Ewha is my only art class so far, so I don’t have any idea about how to make a portfolio. So I send them email and asked for some advice. In the email, I also send them my flickr. When I received their email, I was with a friend in cafe. I think I will remember the time for quite a long time, Jennifer told me that she forwarded my email to other counselors, they liked my picture and all of them thought I should do it right away and no need for another portfolio now. I was so excited.Thank you Jennifer, for all you’ve done for me so far.

Yesterday my French friend Pascal flied back to France. Before he went back, my friend Sophia and I went to visit him. He and another friend Brice lived in a lovely 四合院, which means a courtyard around by rooms at four different directions. A very traditional style home building in old China. Even now there are still a lot in Hutong, small alleyway. over the courtyard, the fence post was twined by vines. They also have some bikes, we ride bike in hutong and near lakes. Enjoyed snack and drink. After packing, we sat on the roof and enjoy the wind. Their house really jealous me, what a lovely place!