Budget-Friendly Tips For Getting Your Textbooks

We’re a week into the new semester, and I’ve already helplessly watched hundreds of dollars leave my wallet for textbooks.

Avoid the pitfalls of overpriced textbook purchases with these tips:

1. If you can afford to, wait...

Sometimes, you can find really great deals on Amazon or even the Barnes and Noble marketplace, but the books often take weeks to reach you. If your professor sends out their syllabus weeks ahead of time, you may be able to order from one of those slower sellers and still get your books by the time you need them.

2. Do you really need it?

In some classes, textbooks are recommended, but not required. If this is the case, you may want to wait until a few days into the class to decide whether or not you will actually benefit from having a textbook. Rate My Professors is also really helpful as former students will sometimes comment on whether or not they felt that the book was necessary for passing the class.

3. Buy loose leaf

As horrible as the idea was to me initially, buying a loose leaf textbook is significantly less expensive than a hard or soft cover book, and just as effective. While they aren’t as *aesthetically pleasing,* they come pre hole-punched and can easily be put in a binder. Voilà - a book!

4. Think ahead

If one of your classes will require the same textbook for multiple semesters, consider buying the textbook rather than renting it (which is practically the only time I will say this!). I made the grave mistake of renting my language textbook this semester, only to realize that between two semesters of renting and two access codes, I would have been better off purchasing the package deal.

5. Buy used

Unless you need an access code, there is absolutely no reason to buy a new textbook. Renting is ideal, but if you want to hold on to the book for a while, buying a used one is the way to go.