>> Dec 3, 2011
A college student’s first vital lesson at college might come to light in the campus bookstore where, on average, textbooks cost a whopping $100 each! It just doesn’t seem fair to struggling college kids. However, the great thing about being a college student who thinks outside the box that is campus, is that you’ll naturally look for cheaper ways to attain your college textbooks for the years’ studies. However, if you’re not quite sure how to find them, keep in mind that professors are required to provide students assigned textbook list during course registration. This should allow you to get a good head start on hunting the required reading down before classes start next semester.
Look to the increasing number of ways to save on college textbooks by looking to textbook rental, free online versions that you can download for free, and save some money and paper by purchasing an e-reader and using electronic textbooks. Your first priority should be not to get ripped off by the college bookstore. Take for instance, a New York Times article from August 2011 stated that each year textbook costs grow an average of 6 percent that’s double the rate of inflation if you’re a brainy math student—which makes the cost of buying textbooks in 2011 around $1,000 for the year!</>
The best sources for cheaper college textbooks are:
1. Free downloadable versions
The great thing about the internet is that you can find almost everything you need for free. Look to sites like Google Books, where the creators have scanned thousands of textbooks into the database here. You might not find niche books for your classes, but if you’re an English or Philosophy major you might be in luck with more popular titles and classics.
2. Get an e-reader
If you’re eyes don’t bug out reading on an electronic screen, invest in an e-reader. It may cost you around $100 to $300 upfront, but it will pay off over the long run. Not only do digital textbooks cost about half the full retail price of printed ones—you’ll be doing your share to save the environment as well.
3. Rent your textbooks online
You can rent print versions of your required textbooks and have them conveniently shipped right to your door. Choose from new and used books for much less than buying them outright. Save the box and ship them back after you’re done with them. Online textbook rental companies like Rentscouter.com, Chegg.com and CampusBookRentals.com offer either free shipping or shipping for less than $4.00 both ways.
4. Hoof it to the library
You know that the campus library probably has a copy of the required texts for all classes, however, they probably don’t have multiple copies to meet the demand for free textbooks. If you get there early and are able to check out your textbook, photocopy it.
5. Buy your books used
You know that the sucker who paid in full for his brand new art history textbooks last year will be looking to make some money back on his investment this year. Buying and selling back used textbooks is a college traditional, and you can find a ton of reduced offers on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and probably on bulletin boards around campus.
6. Check out the Web-swap
Just like a traditional swap met, web swaps are popular among students because they connect you with other students offering to swap textbooks free. Look to web swaps like: