How to Read a Shelf Tag

July 31, 2022

At your BMC Bookshop, required and suggested books for your classes are arranged by class.  Classes are organized alphabetically by department, and within department by course number and section number.  So, for example, you'll find all books for EALC B281-001 together in one place.  Once you locate this class, in the second aisle of our text area (in Fall 2022), shelf tags will help you figure out exactly what you need.


Look first in the upper left of the tag.  Right below the department, course and section, you'll see the course name: "Food in Translation."  Immediately below this is a line that tells you how many books you're looking for.  You see that there are six required books, and that's it: nothing optional, suggested or choice. (We'll come back to choice in a minute.)

This tag shows you key info about each book, most importantly the author, title and isbn.  Immediately below the title are the new and used prices.

Tags have a limited amount of space, so we can only fit the first four books on this first tag.  Stay on the same shelf where you see this tag and look to the right for a second tag.  If you don't see it to the right, then drop down to the shelf below.  Here's where you'll find this second tag for the class:


When you see a tag with a line across the bottom followed by the department, course number, section number and, on the right, the term, then you know this is the end of tags for this class.

The books will be arranged on these two shelves, in the order that they appear on the tags, so you'll see the Jen right where tag #1 hangs, followed to the right and down by the Kurzweil, Lee, Thuy, Ulla and Yu.

New and used copies are shelved together.  Used on top and in front, new below and behind used.  If you don't see any used copies, it means that we are either out or we were unable to find any.

The bookshop website shows stock status (in stock, expected soon or out of stock), and it also indicates whether a book is available in Tripod.

As for those "Choice" titles, here's an example of what you'll see on a shelf tag:



This tag is telling you that there's one required book for BIOL B220-001, Bowman's ECOLOGY 5th edition.  The "Choice" option is the same book in digital form.  We offer ebook options for some texts through one of two ebook partners, Redshelf or Vitalsource.  In this case, Vitalsource offers the best deal: 180 days of access (enough to get you through a semester) for $60, a considerable savings off the print edition.  We don't sell Vitalsource or Redshelf access in store: you must purchase access on the bookshop website.

For info on how to find the books you need on the bookshop website, visit this page:

If you have any other questions, please email us at or come find us in the store.  We're here to help!