Top Tips to Save Money on Your College Textbooks

Textbook are one of the biggest expenses in college and buying books at the campus bookstore is not always the most cost-friendly option for every student. Read what some savvy students had to say about where to find great deals on textbooks.

The average college student spends over $1,000 on textbooks each year! As if paying for classes isn't tough enough, being able to afford the textbooks for a class can be nearly impossible. We turned to our Facebook fans and asked them, 'How do you save money on textbooks?'

Share Books

It seems that sharing or swapping books is a big trend at college. This can help a lot in sharing of costs as long as you don't want to keep certain books.

'My friends and I swap textbooks. Myself and one other girl are taking the same minor and she bought half the books (from Amazon and other discount sites) and I bought the other half (from Amazon and other discount sites). We just swap them! If we are taking them at the same time we only buy one book and share it. Saves so much money and plus we have each other to study and ask questions.' --Kelsey M., University of South Florida

Students sharing a textbook.

'I post on Facebook what textbook I need to see if any of my friends has it for me to borrow. Then I post the books I have to let people borrow. If not then I wait to the last possible minute to make sure I really need the book for the class or not.' --Sammie S.

Buy Textbooks Online

Buying books from online retailers is anther great way to save money. You'll need to be on top of your game, though, and get your order in a bit ahead of time. This might also take a little extra work on your part.

'Buy used books at, take care of your books-keep them clean, don't mark them up one side and down the other because once the semester is over you will be selling them. Consider buying an earlier edition (used) if there isn't much difference between editions.' --Deeanne B.

'Purchase them via ebay.' --Caleb W.

Renting Books

Book renting can be a great option, although there are some limitations. Most book renters let you rent for a period of time, anywhere from 30-125 days. This option is great if you only need your text for a short period of time, but renting for longer could get costly.

'I use BookRenter and many others use Chegg to rent... those two are very cheap and you can choose rental period by month, quarter, or semester or something like that, with an option to purchase for much less if you choose to keep it. I was taking three 8-week classes at a time and could rent all 3 of my books for the same price someone bought one book on amazon.' --Holly S.


The library seems like such an obvious answer, but if it were that easy wouldn't everyone use it for textbooks? Our guess is depending on what you're majoring in, you may or may not be able to find books in the campus library. If you do find books in the campus library, they may be reference texts, which means you can only study from them in the library.

Textbooks in the library

'Library books are free. i haven't bought any textbooks since freshman year.' --Tan N.

One thing is clear.....if you want to save money, you need to put in a little extra work. Research the best options or try some of these to find out what works best for you. Maybe you can end the semester with a bit extra money in your pocket!

Do you have any secrets to saving money on textbooks? Let your fellow students know on our Facebook page.

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