Cutting The Cost of Textbooks

Cutting The Cost of Textbooks

Buying textbooks gives me heartburn. Every semester, I shell out more cash for books that will only be relevant for a few months than I do for my classes, fees and parking permits combined. At the end of the semester you are forced to take whatever the school will pay you for your “used” textbook, which is usually a paltry amount that feels like a slap in the face.  And you can kiss your money goodbye if you bought a math book. They are hardly ever returnable and are one of the most expensive books you can be required to buy.

Luckily, I’ve had some really great professors lately who realize that cost of textbooks are soaring and that it can be crippling to some students, especially working adults, and are allowing various alternatives to simply purchasing the book from the bookstore. There are lots of ways to cut the costs of textbooks besides looking for used versions online if you and your professor are willing to do a little compromising.

Ask About Buying Alternative Versions of Your Textbook:

Most of the time the differences between say, a 6th and 7th edition book are slight and can be found online at usually less than half the price of the latest edition. In fact if you don’t mind a not-so-perfect condition book, (most schools will not buy back a book that has any sort of water damage, no matter how slight) you can find them for a steal on Ebay or Amazon. Also, is a great site for used, low-cost books no matter what version you need.

Try E-Readers, IPads and Kindles:

A lot of textbook companies are also offering digital copies of textbooks for your multimedia devices. The price is usually about half and  is super portable. You could have all of your class textbooks on a Kindle and theoretically do your homework anytime, anywhere. A good site for digital books are is

Did You Know You Can Rent Textbooks: is one of the leading textbook rental sites. How it works is you choose the amount of time you want to rent the book for. They ship it to you with a return envelope and you simply mail it back when it is done. How cool is that! You can extend you rental time if needed or return it for a refund within 30 days if you drop the class.

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