You can save money on the textbook needed for each of your career college courses by becoming creative and searching for used, international editions, earlier editions, books that can be borrowed or rented, e-books, or by sharing textbooks with a friend.
When you enroll in a career college, you will be given a list of the textbook you need for each of your courses, or the instructors will give you this information when you attend your first class in each course. The trick for saving money on obtaining necessary but expensive textbooks is not to rush out to the bookstore and buy all your textbooks at the college bookstore where you will pay top dollar. Try other sources instead.
Yes, You CAN Find College Textbook Bargains
- Avoid the Bookstore if Possible – If you have to use a textbook that has been written by the instructor of a course you are taking, it may not be available anywhere but at your college bookstore. However, if the instructor has been at the college for a while, you may be able to find a used copy for sale by a previous student, or it may be at the college library and you can check it out to study and do your assignments in the library.
- Buy Textbooks Online – College textbooks are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble., and all the other big online booksellers and will be cheaper than at a college bookstore.
- Buy Used Textbooks – You may find the books you need advertised in a student newspaper, or on student bulletin boards in different buildings at the college, or in the local village newspaper. You can also find textbooks in used bookstores.
- Rent Textbooks –You can rent books from various websites; however, look for Canadian websites such as Texbookrental.ca or bookmob.ca as well as the well-known Amazon and Barnes & Noble textbook sites for this service. Most USA sites will rent only to students in the USA.
- Download Free or Low Cost e-Books – You may find a textbook you need as a free e-book from such sources as OpenStaxCollege. Textbooks can be downloaded as PDF documents that you can save to your computer. As well, almost all publishers sell books—including textbooks—online as e-books., which are much cheaper than paper copies.
- Choose an Earlier Edition or an International Edition – If it is not imperative that you have the latest edition, you can purchase an earlier edition of the textbook, which will be cheaper. You can also buy an international edition, which will probably have a different cover and the chapters may be in a different order. However, an international edition will have all the same content and is much less expensive.
- Borrow Your Textbooks – You may be able to borrow textbooks from a family member or family friend. You can also borrow books from a college library or the public library. If using a library and you need the textbook at a particular time (e.g., to write a research paper), be sure and reserve it ahead of time so that it will be there when you want it.
- Share a Textbook With a Friend – If you buy a textbook with someone, make sure it is a good friend who will make every effort to be fair about taking turns reading and studying with it.
You may want to spend whatever it costs to have the convenience of purchasing the latest editions of your textbooks from your college bookstore; however, if you are looking for ways to cut costs, saving money on textbooks is not that difficult as long as you are resourceful and prepared to make the effort.
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