Where Can I Find Cheap Textbooks?

The amount of money you dish out for college is insane. It’s so much money for a semester and it’s a continuous cycle for four years. But tuition is just the start of it. The most annoying purchase in college is books and dealing with them once the semester is over.

In high school, you were given books to use and return them at the end of the year. College is not like that anymore. You need to supply your own books and it comes at a very expensive cost.

There won’t be a time where you have the luxury of not buying books for a semester. Buying books is a routine for every semester you are in college. But there’s some ways to bring down that price of your $300 math book (yes, one book can get to be that expensive) to something a little more reasonable.

Unless previously stated, many classes won’t expect you to have all of your books gathered the first day of class. Some students get ahead and look up their syllabi and figure out what books they need for their classes.

I recommend not getting them until you attend your classes first. Professors might change their syllabus and will announce it on the first day of class. Don’t waste your money on the wrong books. It might just add up in that library.

Once you’ve received concrete information about the books that you need, get them immediately. You don’t want to wait for the last minute where they are all sold out wherever you may buy them at. Which is the biggest concern of all.

Buy Online

University bookstores would be the most convenient place to shop for your books. It’s located right on campus, in most cases, and you can get them right away. However, these stores will have the most expensive prices for books. It’s where you will find a math book for $300 or a biology book for $200.

Professors tend to be more lenient during the first week of class simply because they want to go over basics of the class and engrave the syllabus in your brain. This allows you enough to look up the books you need online.

Buying your books for class dramatically reduces the price from what it would be at a bookstore. And the process is very easy. There are many sites where you can find the book you’re looking for:

  • chegg.com
  • bookrenter.com
  • ecampus.com
  • valorebooks.com
  • campusbookrentals.com
  • amazon.com
  • eBay.com

These websites are designed for college students to easily get their textbooks for a reasonable price.

But there is also the factor of what to do with the books once you’ve finished the class. As an English major as well, I can’t even county how many literature books I’ve collected throughout the years. I have a heavy cardboard box sitting in my room at my parents house that is waiting for me decide what to do with then. I have a bookshelf filled with heavy textbooks about math and law and stuff I will never refer to again in my life.

The sites are also created with the options to return them at the end of the semester. Renting books is a much better option than buying the books. It’s cheaper and you wont have the burden of having them all over the place once the class is over.

If the renting sites don’t have the book you need, which can happen occasionally, and buying books is the only option, it makes getting rid of them a bit complicated. Don’t collect heavy old textbooks you will never touch again. It truly is a waste of space. List them on Amazon or eBay because another college student will be looking for that book for a cheaper price just like you did.

If you are taking classes that involve a lot of smaller books, such as literature of any English class, buying them electronically is a great way to get them cheap and off your bookshelves.

Don’t go out of your way and buy a Kindle. But, I got one this past year and I found it to be very convenient, especially for my major. I took a class where I needed to buy 15 books. I found them for free on my Kindle. These devices are only useful when you are an avid reader.

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Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman is a senior at University of Iowa pursuing degrees in Journalism and English. Having a passion for food, she loves cooking and visiting restaurants. Besides cooking, you’ll find her reading, catching up on TV shows, or hanging out with friends and family. She is an enthusiastic Chicago fan. She devotes herself to “da” Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox.