By: CHRISSY BOHLMANN
In my early semesters, I would spend hundreds of dollars on new textbooks each semester. After minimal use, I tried to sell them back to the IU South Bend bookstore and received, at most, $50 each. I know this probably sounds familiar.
Textbook prices make many students angry, but there are ways to be thrifty.
Start by asking if the textbook is really necessary. Email your professors in advance to see how much you will use the book. Sometimes you only need two or three pages that you could borrow from another student.
Consider options other than brand new hardcover textbooks. Buying loose leaf or paperback books and renting can cut the price in half.
Older editions of the textbook are another option to consider. Some textbooks don’t change very much from one edition to another. Again, email your professor and ask if an older edition may be used.
Buying used textbooks is my favorite options because they come with the former owner’s highlights and notes.
I am also starting to favor digital books. I never liked the idea, until a $50 textbook became $5 in a digital version. It is worth giving a try.
Do not settle for the price. Go textbook hunting online. There are a few trusted sites such as Amazon, EBay, or Chegg that offer used, new, rental and digital textbooks for much cheaper than the bookstore price.
Many students have already learned their options and started putting that knowledge to use.
“I go to dealoz.com. It’s a search engine. It gives you a list of websites to buy from,” said Brandon Korkiewicz, an IUSB freshman. “I found one of my books for $1. It’s like an Amazon for textbooks.”
Most students, however, still use the bookstore, mostly for simplicity.
“I’ve always bought textbooks from the bookstore because it’s easy and convenient,” said Kylie Woodka, an IUSB student.
The bookstore will organize your shopping list and offer every textbook you need in one place. You can also pick them up at school if you choose. But if you want to be thrifty, you have to start hunting early.
At the end of the semester, sell your old textbooks. Check the price of the old textbook online, and then see if it is the same at the IU bookstore. I often make more selling textbooks on EBay.
However, when you are in a hurry and ordering your textbooks one week before school, the IU bookstore is probably the fastest and simplest option.