If you can help it, don't buy books at the bookstore on campus. It's fine for books
that nobody else has, or for cheap little pamphlets or paperbacks. Beyond that, buy online. It's cheaper, and sometimes more
reliable, oddly enough.
Amazon.com is a great resource for new and used stuff. You can either buy your books
in the bookstore or for a quarter of the price a little used from Amazon. This place is especially useful at the end of the
semester when you need a little cash and want to get rid of those books you know you won't need again. Once again, you can
sell back your book, which you bought for $115 from the bookstore, at the bookstore, where they'll offer you, no joke, $15,
or sell it online for $70 or so. You may even be able to make a little profit.
As a deckie, definitely buy the following pretty darn quick:
-Bowditch - The American Practical Navigator: this is your bible, it will tell you everything you need
to know about sailing.
-The Murphy Books: these color-coded guides form the basis of the question banks used by the teachers
on campus, and literally are the question banks used by the USCG on your license exam
-American Merchant Seaman's Manual: useful stuff for your first few years in ship and cargo ops, also
good marlinespike stuff as well
-Merchant Marine Officer's Handbook: not quite a necessity while at school, but some mates will want
you to carry it for commerical cruise