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How To Save Money on School Textbooks

The cost of college textbooks has been on an upward spiral for many years. But with some resourcefulness and the tips given here, college kids can still find cheap texts.


  • Step 1: Purchase only texts that are essential. Some books on your reading list may be optional.
  • Step 2: Look for an international edition of the textbook. It may be in paperback and have black and white illustrations, but it will probably have nearly the same content as the domestic version.
  • Step 3: Purchase an electronic version of the textbook.
  • FACT: College book stores typically buy back textbooks at the end of the semester for 50 percent or less of the full retail price, and resell them at 75 percent of the original price.
  • Step 4: Check your school's library to see whether your professor has put a copy of the textbook you need on the reserved shelf.
  • Step 5: Rent a textbook. You may be able to find an online textbook rental site that rents textbooks for the semester.
  • Step 6: Choose a college major –- for example English literature -- that uses classic books with expired copyrights as texts. These books may be available for free if you have an e-reader.
  • Step 7: Purchase a used textbook. Some online textbook vendors sell used texts.
  • TIP: Shop around if you decide to buy a new copy. Some online textbook vendors on the Internet offer textbooks at discounted prices.
  • Step 8: Attend a college that partners with a textbook publisher to produce custom textbooks. These books are often available at considerable savings to students.

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