College textbooks are so freakin expensive!
However, I have some helpful tips that can help you save money! And, who doesn’t enjoy saving a couple of bucks?
- Don’t buy textbooks from your campus bookstore. Your campus bookstore needs to earn some profit, so they will sell the books that you need more expensive than anywhere else. I understand why they need the profit. I mean you are helping your school out, so unless you have the budget then go for it. Also, it prevents you from having to wait in a gigantic line to get your book. For example, a Calculus textbook that is used that I need costs $204.50 and a new one costs $272.66 from my campus while on Amazon a used goes as low as $139.98 while a new one costs $158.51! I will be saving $64.52 (I did not included any shipping and handling, or other fees in my calculation) if I buy the used one from Amazon. 64 dollars! I can use that money to pay some of my upcoming bills. It’s simple actually. Just look up the textbook’s ISBN number on Google, if you can or look up the textbook name including the version/ edition.
- Buy from a fellow students or friends. Some students, I figure a couple years ago, started a group on Facebook called “[my university’s name] classifieds” it’s basically a Craigslist but only for students that go to my school. Anyways, the point is that many students sell and buy textbooks from each other. Which are usually much cheaper than many places online. Best part is that you don’t have to pay extra shipping and handling because most likely you can arrange to meet them somewhere on campus. You help them by buying them their book and it helps you continue your college carrier. It’s a win-win situation!
- Exchange books with friends! My boyfriend actually lets me borrow his old textbooks. Yay! ^.^ He is a year ahead of me and since we both are engineers (although different kind) we both have to take the same general engineering classes. I actually bought a bio book last semester and we “shared.” He occasionally looked at it. Anyways, I will have to take the same math classes he has or is taking. Also, I let my roommate borrow my chem textbook. Another friend, lent her bio book to another friend in exchange for another.
- Rent them. Another tip is that you can rent the book. I did this once at a community college and it was okay I guess. Although I prefer to be able to write in the books and keep some for future references. So, I am a bit biased on this tip. However it’s totally up to you!
- Do you really need them? I actually like to wait for the first day of class to see if the professor really requires it. Or ask other people have taken that class with that certain professor if the book is worth the money. Unless your class is only based on the book, or you are assigned work from it then you probably should.
- Hardcover, paperback, loose-leaf, eBook? Hardcover books are usually more expensive and heavier, but they are also sturdier and the cover does protect whatever is on the inside. Paperback books are less expensive and lightweight, but the cover does get damaged easier. Ebooks are less expensive and really portable. However, things don’t stick to my head if I read the chapter online. I learn better when I can manually hold the book and turn the pages. My school has some hybrid courses (as they call them) where you are taught in person but you do your homework online. Usually the online/ ebook would come along with an access code that I had to buy (again buy the code from the company rather than the campus it’s cheaper). Loose-leaf books are my favorite! They are usually bulky and heavy like a hardcover because you do have to put them in a binder to carry the book around. However, they are usually less expensive and can be more portable. I would usually take the chapter(s) that I we were covering with me to lecture. I would carry the pages in one of those folders with prongs in them, as opposed as to carrying the entire book. Sometimes the professor would go over an example problem and oddly enough that example problem would be on one of the pages that I had brought with me. If I didn’t understand what he was doing I could usually count on the textbook. Or the TA would write some problems on the board, which could take a while so I would just look at my pages. Awesome! Again I am being biased about this. So, don’t buy the book a physical book if you are given one with an access code unless you are like me and you can’t learn from reading from a screen. Loose-leaf books are my favorite! But these are just my opinions because it is what has worked for me.
Anyways whichever kind of book you end up going for, I hope it helps you learn and get amazing grades in school.
Be a smart textbook buyer and you could save yourself some money!
Do you have any tips on textbook buying? Anything to add? Do you like hardcover, softcover, loose-leaf or ebooks and why?