Saving Money on Textbooks: Simple Life Hacks


If you’re enrolled in college courses, you surely know how extreme the costs are for many textbooks. In some classes, there’s not much you can do about the cost, aside from hope you’ve got enough to afford the book.

However, if you know where to look, you can often find pretty good discounts on textbooks. Let’s check out some of the most reliable ways to save money on college textbooks.

Sell Your Used Books

While this isn’t directly saving money on textbooks, you should consider selling your old books for courses you’ve completed. Incoming students into those classes will likely be looking for a decent deal, and you can put the money you clear on the sale toward your books for the next semester.

Buy Used from Friends

Of course, the reverse advice also applies. If you have friends who took courses you’re now taking, ask them if you can buy their used books. They’ll often offer you a way lower price than the official bookstore will, and you know that you’re helping them out. You might even get lucky enough to be able to just trade textbooks with them if you have books they need and vice versa.

Check the Library

Your school has a library. That library is full of textbooks. You see where this is going, right? Often, expensive textbooks will be available for checkout in the library. Sometimes, they’ll even let you leave the building with the book!

While this won’t work for courses that require you to have the book present in-class, it’s a great way to get the readings done for classes that only assign readings for outside of class time.

Outdated Editions

Your professor might not prefer this, but if you can afford an older edition of the textbook, you’ll be able to keep up better than someone who has no book at all. This might cause some friction, like mismatched page numbers, but the important thing is being able to do the readings and understanding the material.

Electronic Texts

Sometimes the eBook version of a textbook is much more affordable than the physical copy. Most professors are just happy if you have the book in any form, so the digital version is usually just fine for a class setting. Just double-check with your professor that they don’t have any rules against having an e-reader out and powered on during class hours, assuming they need you to have the reading present during class.