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7 Tips for Cheap College Books

cheap college book tips

I recently wrote about buying cheap college books by shopping online. (For cheap online books, I recommend BookByte)

But there are many more options for you to find cheap books and save on your overall book costs. Here are just a few of the choices available for cheap college books.

1. Buy single chapters. Why buy the whole book, if you only need part of it? iChapters is the resource you need! This site lets you buy single chapters of books for as low as $1.99. I purchased part of a law book this way through a legal site, and it was awesome! I got just what I needed, and I only paid a few dollars.

2. Buy ebooks. Ebooks are cheaper to produce than printed books. And they’re better for the environment. iChapters offers ebooks for 50% off the regular price. And you can use a site like CourseSmart to get other ebooks. You really should pursue this option, especially since you’re probably already lugging a laptop around campus. Might as well put it to use for something more than solitaire!

3. Rent books. Book renting outfits are now becoming popular online. Many sites provide good deals by renting books to you for a cheap price. Check out Chegg and CampusBookRentals. I’ve never rented books, but it sounds like a great option to save some cash. Since you’re probably just going to sell back your books at semester’s end, renting makes sense.

4. Find free books. Yep, free books exist. They’re the ultimate cheap college book. And don’t all college students love “free” anything?! The best source for free books is Project Gutenberg. If it’s in the public domain (like those old literature books you have to read), you can probably find it there. The Freeload Press is another contender for this option.

5. Borrow books. The library is an obvious option. But have you thought about forming a little group of students to borrow books? Each of you can buy a book or two, and you can all share them. Most classes don’t need the book in class anyway, so you just need to make sure everyone can do their reading. This model could work well, especially if you don’t have many over-achievers in your borrowing group.

6. Steal them. It’s an option, but I don’t recommend it. Theft (even petty larceny) could earn you some jail time. You’d be better off spending some cash on books.

7. Don’t read. I wouldn’t recommend this option either. But it certainly works for some people.

Photo by stukinha

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9 Responses to “7 Tips for Cheap College Books”

  1. Brandon
    August 30th, 2008

    When buying your books, price comparison sites are the way to go. They compare prices from a bunch of bookstores so that you can find the best deal. Use CampusBooks.com when buying your books. It includes new and used books, plus book rental and e-book sites as well.

    At the end of the semester, use BookScouter.com to figure out where to sell your books for the highest price. In many cases, you can buy a used book, keep it in good condition, and sell it back and it will hardly cost you anything.

  2. Sandy
    September 2nd, 2008

    If I need few chapters of the book, first I check out the library. If the book is available, I take the print outs. I use amazon.com to sell my books.

  3. MO
    September 8th, 2008

    To all college students… The time is now to stop buying these expensive college books and start saving by trading your textbooks online at http://WWW.TEXTFORTEXT.COM. The best part is that you can do this absolutely free. Just log on to http://www.textfortext.com And start saving… Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t find your book at first. Just remember the more students that register, the better the chance for you to find the book you need. Therefore, be sure to forward this message to all your friends and classmates.

    Why BUY when you can TRADE

  4. Visa
    September 30th, 2008

    I think not reading is the best option. That will create no problems no differences.

    So just dont read… :P

  5. Visa Services
    October 2nd, 2008

    Stealing hmmm… that does sound like a good option.hehe I borrow books most of the time.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    October 2nd, 2008

    @Visa Services – Just don’t be too much of a leech, or you won’t have any friends left to borrow from. :)

  7. Jozi Hall
    October 22nd, 2008

    Better World Books is a great site for cheap textbooks! Check it out at http://www.betterworld.com and use the coupon code JHAL08 for a 10% discount!!! (Coupon good for a one-time use on or before December 31, 2008) 2 million New & Used Books. Free shipping in the USA, $3.97 worldwide.

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  9. College Reviews
    August 13th, 2009

    Our site has a lot of college reviews from college students. A lot of those students recommend using the online textbooks stores. There are quite a few out there that have discounted prices on the same textbooks that are at the school bookstore.

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