College 101: Save on Textbooks

Two out of the of thirteen textbooks (six of them being novels) ordered for classes this semester have arrived. Basically, that means I will have little to no life once the 24th of August rolls around. I am going to save myself the disappointment now and just go ahead and plan on not having a life. At all. Period.

I think I am going to be sick. What makes me sick more than anything else is the astronomical cost accumulated by the thirteen textbooks. Why do textbooks have to cost so much if we're only going to use them for 3 1/2 months? And what's worse is having to purchase a $100-$200 textbook that you'll only use once during the whole semester! (Trust me, this totally happens!). In other words, don't ever trust the word required or optional. If in doubt, contact your Professor directly. They'll be your best source of information on what textbooks are essential and which ones you can do without. 

Getting all of my textbooks would have cost me somewhere close to $600 if I were to purchase them straight from the campus bookstore. Thankfully, I don't like to settle for full price on my books, so I am always looking to either rent or buy them as cheaply as possible. (If you have a scholarship(s) or a student loan(s), be sure to check on the stipulations first. Sometimes there's no way around buying straight from the campus bookstore). 

While I did have to purchase my Geography textbooks from the campus bookstore, I looked elsewhere for everything else. By doing so I saved a pretty penny. (Eh, I saved my mom a pretty penny!).  So what are some places I have ventured to in order to save a buck? Quite a few, actually!

There are so many great websites to rent and buy new/used textbooks for your classes.

// Buying //

Buying means that these books are yours to keep, highlight, underline...all the things most college students tend to do when studying. However, if you're wanting to try to sell the textbook(s) back, try to keep it to a minimum. 


Believe it or not, I actually bought all--but one--of my books from Amazon for this semester. The end total was around $200, give or take. Not only did it save me money on my books, but I saved my gas and time searching for my books online!


Sometimes you can get lucky on eBay. I have purchased books from this site on several occasions at 50% off the retail cost.

// Renting// 

These are not yours to keep or abuse with highlighting and underlining. Renting sites will charge you for "damages" if they see there are excessive notes, torn pages, etc., to the textbook. 

Textbook Rentals

I have used it on a few occasions. It's legit and the books are reasonable.

Book Renter

This one I have used consistently. With this site, renting textbooks (if they carry them) are extremely cheap!


I have heard good things about them; although I have never tried them myself.

You don't have to pay full price for textbooks. There are ways to go about purchasing your books without breaking the bank. So, before you head to that campus bookstore, check out other sources. You might be surprised at how much you can save by going off campus and spending some time comparing prices.

Note: It is important that you know all the details about the books you're looking to purchase (e.g. edition, ISBN number, author, title, etc.). Missing a crucial detail could spell disaster and possibly cost you more money in the long run. Always read twice, buy once. 


Popular Posts