Categories: College Life

The Best Ways To Find Affordable Textbooks

Affordable textbooks make the cost of college a little easier to bear. Unfortunately, depending on the class, all textbooks aren’t affordable. We’ve found a way to save you money and the hassle of trying to find affordable textbooks for when you head back to class. Check out all the ways to save money below!

1. Rent, Don’t Buy

When you are signing up for classes, most likely you are going to need a textbook. There’s not many ways around it, but you can try to find affordable textbooks! Visit your campus bookstore to see what options you have. Many bookstores now allow you to rent textbooks, rather than buy them outright. This sounds good to us, but there is a slight draw back. Rented books are not eligible for book buy-back at the end of the semester. If that’s not a deal breaker for you, go ahead and rent your textbooks.

2. Buy From Another Student

If you know what classes you’ll be taking during the second semester, start looking for books now! Find out who is taking the class this semester and make an agreement to buy their books. Most likely they will be willing to sell you their textbook if they know they can get a small profit from it. It’s not like they will need it after the coursework is done! If you don’t know anyone personally reach out on social media. With most classes being offered in different time slots, there is sure to be at least one person wanting to resell their books.

3. Amazon

Is there anything you can’t find on Amazon? Not really! They sell just about everything you could ever want. Why not see if you can find affordable textbooks on their site? Make sure you are searching the correct title and edition! Sometimes there are a lot of editions and only a particular one will be used in your class. If you find what you’re looking for, see if there is an option to rent the book versus buying it. Try to save some money where you can. While you’re at it, you might as well sign up for Amazon Student while you’re at it. It’s bound to come in handy during the semester at some point or another.

4. Discover Books

We love, love this used book website. They have everything under the sun you are looking for including textbooks. Simply enter the title and edition of the book you are looking. If they have the textbook, they will tell you how many are available and what condition they are in. Get a discount on your first order plus free shipping! It’s the little things in life. Depending on textbook, prices can be as low as $5. This is a fabulous website, especially if you have to pay for books yourself.

5. Online Books

Sometimes traditional textbooks aren’t for everyone and they sure aren’t cheap. An alternative can be online textbooks. Some professors are on board with this and others aren’t. If you know you learn better this way, reach out to them and let them know. If they agree with it, most likely they will assign a website code that you have to buy from the bookstore. Even though you will still have to pay for the code, it’s a better option for affordable textbooks. Plus your backpack is bound to be a lot lighter, if you only have to carry a laptop.

6. Price Comparison Websites

Like anything else in life, it pays to shop around for the best price. Shopping for textbooks isn’t any different! We wish we knew about this in college, because these websites can save you a ton of money. When you get to the comparison website, enter the title of the textbook and edition if there is one. The site will then generate the results, displaying prices of textbooks on different websites! It’s up to you to choose which one is within your budget. There are a few of these sites we find StudentRate Textbook Search engine to provide consistently accurate prices. Just remember, that comparison sites just give you an overview, check out each individual site for details!

7. Share With A Classmate

If you and your roommate happen to take the same class, save each other some money and share the textbook! You might not be that lucky, but the idea is the same. If you know someone taking the same class as you, consider splitting the cost and sharing the book. This is a money saving way to find affordable textbooks. Make a few rules, like not highlighting text or making sure its available to both of you for studying. You can always photocopy certain chapters so you can make individual notes!

See Also

8. Buy An Older Edition

Some textbooks change editions every year (or close to it). It makes sense for math, science and medical books because concepts are always evolving. However how much do most subjects change, a paragraph or chapter here and there? Sometimes you can get away with using an older edition of a textbook! It will cost less than the newer version and most chapters will be the same. The only thing is if a professor assigns classwork, you need to know the new chapter! Ask your friend to borrow their book so you can make a copy of the new information.

9. International Copies

Okay, hear us out. If you could find affordable textbooks, that are the same edition you need for class, would you consider buying an “international” copy? International copies are simply copies of textbooks printed outside the U.S. They tend to be paperbacks, have the word “international” on the cover and some of the pictures are black and white. If those things don’t bother you, you can save a ton of money on textbooks for the semester. When you buy the books online, most websites offer a full refund if the “international” copy information is not the same as the regular copy. So no worries there!

10. Check Out The Library

If you know a professor is known for not using a “required” textbook much in class, there is still another way to get through the course work. Check with the school’s library to see if they have a copy of the textbook on hand! Sometimes you might get lucky, other times, not so much. This is more of a last resort or if textbooks are just outrageously priced. Even if the library does carry the book, you can’t make notes in it and there is a chance another student could have check it out. There are pros and cons with this method of saving money on textbooks.

Which way will you try to find affordable textbooks this fall? Which one do you think will work the best for you? Comment and share with us below!

Featured Image Source:
Kristen Skiera

Hi my name is Kristen and I am 26 years old. I went to Central Michigan University (Fire Up Chips!). I majored in Integrative Public Relations with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. After graduation, I worked for Macy's in a variety of positions. I love shopping until I drop and consider it my cardio! I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and hope to do more so in the future. I am an energetic, sassy and fun loving person who loves her family (dog), friends and donuts!

Recent Posts

10 Tips for Being Vegetarian and Vegan in College

Being vegetarian and vegan in college can be intimidating, especially when it seems like everyone around you eats meat. Though…

3 hours ago

How to Clean Up Your Online Reputation

Tonight is the biggest party of the year and you want to document every minute of it. You want to…

8 hours ago

Craziest Student Excuses to Get Out of Class

A couple of words of advice for missing class before the stories begin. First, you can never go wrong when…

12 hours ago

How to Adjust to New Culture While Studying Abroad

So you’ve made it to your study abroad destination, congratulations! At first you felt excited about your latest surroundings and…

15 hours ago

How to Deal with College Application Stress

Applying to college is a daunting task, and I am the first to admit that college application season was the…

1 day ago

How to Cope With Your Senior Year Feels

As I sit here in bed, the night before I leave for senior year of college, I think to myself:…

1 day ago