A college education is expensive enough without having to worry about paying steep prices for college books. Many of the expensive books a college student pays for will not be used again. Compiled in this article are several resources and alternatives for acquiring much needed class books.
Once you enroll in your classes, email the teacher and let her/him know you are in the class and are looking for the required book. Ask the instructor if she/he can email the previous semester’s class to ask if anyone would like to sell their book (of course, make sure the instructor is using the same book). Many times, students just toss their books aside, especially if they’ve missed the deadline to sell the book back to the bookstore.
Next, if you don’t receive a reply to the above strategy, you can put up a notice on the college bulletin board, asking if anyone has the particular book you need. This is kind of a long shot since people don’t usually read bulletin boards as much as their email, but it’s still worth a try.
The above tactics need to be acted upon immediately since you need time to acquire the sought after books in time for class. If you don’t have the time to spend, go on to the following ideas.
Who says you have to buy a book? If you know it’s a book you are not interested in keeping forever, why not rent it? This way you can return it at the end of the semester and not pay nearly as much as you would for a new or even used book.
Below are some of my favorite rent-a-book sites:
Read their policies and keep the books safe, remember you’re only renting and the books must be kept in good condition, no highlighting!
If you’re a person who feels more comfortable buying than renting, below are excellent sites to buy new or used books:
Campusbooks.com – this site will even compare prices from other sites to get you the best price!
If all else fails and you find yourself in class on the first day with no book, here is one more strategy (it worked for me). Listen as the instructor calls roll; for those names with no answer, ask the instructor if she can possibly email the student and ask if they happen to have a book, which they will not be using. I got lucky and ended up paying half price for a textbook. Sometimes it’s worth just taking a chance.
Good luck in your class and remember… you don’t have to pay full price for college books.