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Ready for your first college assignment? Head to the campus bookstore, wait in line for 45 minutes and shell out the majority of your summer savings. Sound like a bummer? It is. But now, you may not have to go through this freshman ritual. Thanks to the Internet, you can now buy your books for less with a flick of a wrist and a click of the mouse.

Enter Eric Kuhn, CEO of Varsitybooks.com, whose Web site gives students access to more than 400,000 titles at discounts of 15-40 percent. "With our service, students won't have to wait in those ridiculously long lines," says Kuhn. Varsitybooks.com has the book lists for more than 200 colleges, but if you aren't a student at one of these schools don't worry. Giants like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com) and Borders Books and Music (www.borders.com) are also sources for students to purchase books online.

U. of Maryland junior Brooke Lafazan likes the idea. "Shopping for books is a complete nightmare, and you have to drag around those heavy carts," she says. "I'd order my books online in a second."

But will students be bogged down with staggering shipping and handling costs waiting for that 10-pound calculus book? Nope. Varsitybooks.com ships everything within two business days for a measly $4.95. "Students just want to save money and time, and they will through us," says Kuhn. "We're not looking to make money on shipping."

And don't worry about the schools losing money to online booksellers. They're sure to find another way to squeeze you for more cash to make up for any losses.

By Sara Gayle, Syracuse U.

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