Don’t let books break the bank

(Photo by Stefan Carlson)

Paying full price for textbooks is a surefire way to bring your bank balance to zero. But you don’t need to go broke paying for textbooks. Here are a few tips for getting books the cheapest way possible:

1. Make your friend.

Type your book’s ISBN into the website’s search engine, and you’ll be given the cheapest rental and buying prices available online.

2. Avoid purchasing or buying your textbooks from Beck's Book Store.

You can get most of your textbooks at the college library or through an Interlibrary loan. If you still cannot find some of your textbooks at the library, check out Amazon, Chegg, or other websites, where books will be much cheaper than at the college bookstore. Beck’s should be a last resort.

3. Never buy the book(s) (before class starts).

Books are disgustingly expensive, especially from the bookstore. As a result, NEVER buy any book before the first day of class. A professor will usually say on the first day how important the book will be to the class, and you can go from there. It’s important to note that even if the professor says it is important, you might still be able to get away with not purchasing the textbook at all by sharing it with someone else in the class. In any case, professors understand that it can take a while for students to get books, and are very lenient about when students need their books. If you do decide to get the book, buy it online for the best deal.

4. Mooch off a classmate's book.

Ask a classmate to borrow their book. There is a scanner at the A.C. Buehler Library where you can scan pages of the book for free.

5. Always check the price of ebooks first.

If you must purchase the book, then buy the ebook. You can purchase the ebook version of textbooks on Amazon or on the book publisher’s website.

6. Check for Torrents.

Finding a torrented copy of a textbook is one of the most satisfying feelings as a college student. Torrents are online files that are shared between users on programs like The Pirate Bay or ExtraTorrent. If you can manage to find a copy of your books on one of these programs, you won’t have to spend a dime on textbooks. Just be warned: some schools’ Wi-Fi blocks many torrenting programs, so find somewhere to do your searching.