Tips for saving money on college textbooks


At the beginning of every semester, college students shell out large sums of money for their textbooks in order to prepare adequately for classes. Many times, however, books can be the most expensive personal investment made during the school year. There are many different alternatives that could aid in retaining one’s net check in the coming year.

Here are a few alternatives for students who don’t want to spend a fortune on books.

1. Look on campus for used books

Many people attempt to sell their old books from prior semesters. They are willing to part with them for discounted rate or even half off. Compare to buying used books from the bookstore sometimes this is a bargain. This is not always the case but it is better to be safe than sorry. Always shop around. If time is an issue the bookstore on campus might be the best bet. 

 “I get my books from the on campus book store,” said Sasha Matthews, 19, physics student from Lithonia, Ga. “It’s convenient and always has what I need.”  

2. Buying books new or used online

One option is to look to the Internet for assistance. Look up the book needed, making sure you know the ISBN number, title, and author. Always shop around to see what will work best for you. You can buy your books online at various sites such as Amazon, cheapbooks, chegg, half, paylessbooks and eBay just to name a few sites. 

Antorris Williams, 21, public relations junior from Belle Glade, Fla. said, “I either buy them from, the bookstore, or collegebookrenters.”  

3. Renting books online

Some sites provide renting services for textbooks for a reduced price as opposed to buying them from another location. The shipping costs are usually affordable or even free depending on the sites used to provide this service. 

Johnathon Strickert, 22, a third-year English student from Orlando prefers the rental services.

 “I either buy my books from chegg or I rent them, said Strickert. “I use them because they give good deals on books, before if I had a book voucher I went to the book store.”

4. Share Books

This option is best for when other friends are taking the same class and are willing to have joint study sessions or switch off who has the book depending on the assignment and due date.

 “I either buy online or at the book store,” said Julian Ireland, 21, a senior health care management student from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. “Some friends go online or they might share their books or even sell it to them after they’ve finished a class.” 

5. Check out the library reserve section

Most people forget about the library but, this is a key location to visit after speaking with professors on the first day of school. Ask the librarians or go through the card catalogue on of the resource center computers to see if the library has the book on reserve or an earlier edition on the shelves available to check out.