Going to college seems to get more and more expensive each year and one of the big expenses after tuition and housing are already paid seem to always be college textbooks. College books can cost you anywhere from $300 to $1,000 depending on your classes and if the book that you are getting is new. If you think textbooks seem more expensive each year, then you are right; the prices for course materials keeps going up at a rate of 6 percent each year.
Unfortunately not everyone can easily afford the necessary textbooks so they might even consider using prints or illegal copies so that they can get the education they need. The good news is that you can get the same books that everyone else gets or a much affordable option by following these tips.
Head To The Library
You need your college textbooks even if you feel they are too expensive. Fortunately you can borrow them from the college library the moment that you know that you need them. Most university libraries will keep some copies of the materials that you need to meet at least some of the demand by the student body. Because you are borrowing them you will not have to buy them, but that also means that you will have a time set when you will have to return them.
The fact that you are borrowing your college books also means that you need to take special care of them. You should never write on the books as there will be people who will need them in the future. A textbook will likely be available at the library even if it is new, but in many cases you will need to settle for previous editions which in most cases are still accepted and are just as good depending on your major and any recent changes in the field.
Borrow Digital Copies
The new trend that is catching up is to borrow a digital copy of the book. Many libraries, even the ones that are not on a campus, are starting to use digital copies of books which you can borrow from the library’s website like you would a normal book. The one thing to look out for is that you will only have a certain amount of days after which the book will go back to the library and you will have to check it out again.
It is a good idea to try that especially if you are using a tablet and if you live close to campus, but not in campus. When you live away from the school it is more likely that you will have little competition in borrowing the digital copy. The policy on digital copies is different from one library to the next, but some universities actually allow you to keep it for a longer time which can help when you are taking a class. Having a textbook on your tablet also allows you to keep notes on a separate document. Today not too many people are using this option and not every library has it available, but if yours does then you can take advantage of it.
Talk To Your Professor
If you cannot afford a college textbook that your professor has requested, then the professors may aid you by letting you use one of their copies. Professors will get several different copies and in some cases will have more than just a few previous editions available. It is not guaranteed that you will get a borrowed book from them, but it does not hurt to ask. Most professors and universities want you to do well, so if you explain your situation they will likely give you access to the materials they have available.
You may also borrow a book and make a copy of the relevant chapters and return it right away if your professor does not have extra copies; whichever the case remember that you will need to exercise even more care with these books than you would be with your own. At some point other students may need the same favor and you should afford them the same opportunity that you got to get ahead in school.
When it comes to other students there also are a couple of things that you can do. You can chip in to buy the book and both of you can use it. If you are taking the same class at different times then this is a great arrangement and when it is time to study you can make copies of the necessary information and while one uses the book the other person can use the copies. After the semester you can sell the book and split the money you sell it for.
Another option is to look for students that have already completed the course in an earlier semester and who have books they want to sell. When that is the case you may be able to get a better price than the bookstore would give you and the person would sell the book at a better rate as well. It is a win-win situation for both students. Before you buy a used copy from a fellow student or online make sure that the earlier edition is still accepted for the class.
Buy Used At A Bookstore
Your university’s bookstore will make it easy to buy used textbooks and they will divide them by classes so that you can find everything you need easily. The bookstore will also have only the copies that are still accepted for the class. That means that if a book is no longer used they will take them off the shelf. If your university does not have the used edition or their prices seem too high you can visit other universities to see if they have it in stock. You may also find the books that you are looking for online and sometimes for a lower price.
You may also find some grants that will help you with book money, but you really need to do your research. Anything that can help you graduate you should take advantage of, and your college textbooks are necessary. You do not have to go broke trying to get them if you use those ideas.