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Where can I find discounted textbooks?

Textbooks are so expensive and I am wondering how else I can access used textbooks...


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Kim’s Answer

You can either rent or buy your books, and you can do this by renting/buying either electronic versions or hard copy versions. I personally buy hard copy books, because I like to mark them up a lot. Of course, this totally ruins my ability to sell them back at a good price. If you sell books back, they want them to not have too many markings. This is a good way to recover the cost of buying the book, however, you never know if a newer edition is about to come out. If a newer edition comes out, the old ones are likely to be obsolete and they won't buy them back.

I buy mostly from AbeBooks.com, but you can also check various online sites of the campus bookstores, or even simply google the ISBN number. Many professors list that number on the book list. Many sites now list comparison prices of other sites, so you can make the best choice for you!

One thing to be careful of is many textbooks come with access cards for you to access additional on-line content. Used books often do not include the card. In my experience, professors do not tell you if the card is required or not, so you might need to contact the professor about this before buying a used book. I think you can purchase that card separately from the publisher, but the charge will likely not be cheap!

One final thought. When I was a paralegal major, we had a FB page, so students would post on that if they had books to sell or were looking for books. That worked better for the students, as those selling books could charge more than the bookstore would buy them back for, but less than it was selling them for, so everyone came out ahead - except the bookstore!

As to electronic books, there is a lot you can do on-line, as far as highlighting and taking notes from the books, so don't rule that out as a possibility if you are comfortable doing a lot of reading on-line!

Hope this helps - best of luck!