Saving the most money on textbooks

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Jennifer Bennett | jbennett49@radford.edu

It is that time again where we all have to worry about how much money we should be spending on textbooks. There are many places that you can get your books from to save a lot of money, but how about those books that are Radford University exclusive?

Well for starters, steer clear of the bookstore if at all possible. The bookstore has the tendency to have really high prices for textbooks – even if it is just to rent the book. Instead, check out the class page at the very beginning of the semester and there is bound to be someone who is trying to sell their textbook. When I took Psychology this semester, I only ended up paying $35 for the textbook.

One tip I have for saving money is to wait to buy your textbooks until the first week of classes. Sometimes the school tricks you into thinking that you need to buy a textbook for one of your classes and you use it maybe once throughout the semester.

Another tip is to look online for sellers. There are many different textbook price comparison websites that can show you where to get the textbooks that you need without breaking the bank. My go to websites are Chegg and Slugbooks.

Sometimes it is possible to find unbound versions of textbooks, and that by itself could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Sure you will have to get a binder big enough to fit all of the pages in, but it beats spending all of that money.

Another option is to buy an e-book. Some people may need a book that they can actually hold in their hands and work with, so this option might not be the best for you. Buying an online version is only sometimes cheaper however. Sometimes you would have to buy the online textbook straight from the publisher, so there is no cheaper option for e-books. A downfall for purchasing e-books however is that the amount of time that you have access to them is not infinite. The license for how long you have access to a book could be a year or two. Depending on if the class that you need is for your major or not, this could be a good alternative.

Check the library! Sometimes you can find textbooks for free at the library. There are some books that you are not allowed to take out of the library, so you may have to stay there to complete your assignment. The only downfall with this option is that there is usually a limited quantity, so if someone is using the textbook when you need to get homework done you will have to wait until they are finished.

If you have a class with one of your friends, see if they want to split the cost of a textbook with you! This is especially helpful if the person that you are sharing the book with lives in the same place as you do – that way you do not have to run all over campus trying to track down your friend that has your textbook.

This is not necessarily saving money, but sell the textbooks that you use for a semester to another student. Even if you do not get what you paid for the book (which you most likely will not) the part that you do get back can go towards buying your next set of textbooks.

Overall, there are many different ways that you can save money as a student. Money is limited for everyone, so even being able to spare a couple of dollars could go a long way. Textbooks are incredibly expensive and most likely as time goes on, they will most likely continue to rise in price.