4 Tips to Get Cheap Textbooks

 One of the most expensive “must-haves” in college is the textbooks. Whether you are paying cash or the textbook purchases are deducted from your grants and loans, the costs can be extremely expensive. All students need textbooks, so there’s no getting out of the need for them, but there is good news. To help you start saving money, here are some tips on how to find cheap textbooks.

Buy Secondhand

Used textbooks contain the same content as the expensive, new textbooks, and most are in excellent condition. There are a number of different ways to buy used textbooks. For instance, you can check at local thrift shops or shop online at used book stores. eBay and Amazon both also generally have a large selection of textbooks, both new and used that are typically less expensive than buying them at the college bookstore.


If you are on a super tight budget when it comes to buying textbooks, your local library or the school library may be a great option. There are a few downfalls with using library textbooks, such as some libraries don’t allow textbooks to be checked out, so you will need to study at the library. If you are able to check the textbook out of the library, you may have to return it before the end of the semester. The most important thing to remember when utilizing textbooks at the library is that other students may have the same thought so it’s important to reserve it as early as possible.

Lease or Rent

A common option for those wanting to save money on the textbooks they need is to rent or lease them. Simply do an online search for the textbook you need and check the sites that offer textbook rentals. It is important to remember that although it is cheap to rent textbooks, you do have to return them, so you can’t sell the book back when your semester is over. Also, be sure to verify that if the textbook isn’t the latest edition that it does have the majority of the information you need for the class.

Download Electronic eBooks

Whether you use a tablet, notebook, or laptop, you can generally download eBooks. One of the best benefits of downloading your textbooks is that you don’t have to lug around several heavy textbooks and you can access the information from anywhere and at any time. EBooks are generally much less expensive than hardcover textbooks and you’re doing your part in saving paper and ink.

Depending on what class the textbook is for, some of them can have a new edition every year or two, so if you are buying a used textbook, especially if it’s an outdated edition, make sure it contains the majority of what you’ll be studying. The easiest way to know for sure if you can use an older edition is to ask your instructor and if they agree, be sure to ask what the latest edition is that will suffice for the class.