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VarsityBooks.com Launches Discount College Bookstore

And now, a college bookstore on the Web. Why didn't somebody think of this sooner?

Newly launched VarsityBooks.com, based in Washington, DC, said it offers approximately 250,000 titles available for immediate shipment--at a 15 % to 40% discount off typical college bookstore prices. The operation describes itself as "user-friendly, easy-to-navigate. . . and the textbook counterpart of Amazon.com."

As the site's slogan says, students can "get online, not in line." All books are brand-new--clean and unmarked. Even auxiliary books (fiction, reference, etc.) that are recommended by course instructors are usually available, the company said.

At present, students who attend any of five universities in the Washington, DC area--The University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, The George Washington University, or George Mason University--will find most courses currently offered in each subject, the instructors' names, and the titles of the required and optional textbooks and study guides, the firm explained.

Students from other universities will also find the site useful by searching for textbooks organized by subject areas, as well searching for specific titles within the site's entire database. VarsityBooks.com said it plans to continue adding universities each semester so that, eventually, any student at any U.S. university or college will be able to find a customized listing of the exact textbooks they need for each course they are taking.

VarsityBooks.com said it ships within 24 hours for a flat charge of $4.95. Online ordering is secure, and is followed by a confirmation e-mail and another e-mail with the estimated arrival date--usually within two to three days, the company said. The return policy guarantees a full refund up to two weeks after the book is received.