Textbooks: Buying or Renting?
I remember the days when my parents forked over college funds and paid for all my books. Oh sweet days. I would peruse the college bookstore shelves for the still packaged books in pristine condition. They smelled like they had just left the warehouse and had the price tag to prove it. I never bothered to look, all I knew was that I had to have brand new books my first semester of college.
Fast forward a few years, I am now responsible for paying for my own classes and buying my own books. Now, books with big bright yellow stickers with USED in bold black letters stamped across them are welcomed with open arms. Hello, all ready highlighted important parts and notes written in the margins. I truly was missing out my first semester. Who knew, I might have actually passed a class if I had books with notes from the semester before.
Fast-forward a few more years… Book rentals, my saving grace. The one and only way I will obtain my books for my last two semesters of college.
BUYING: NEW & USED
While purchasing college textbooks is the norm, buying new does not have to be your only option. As a penny-pinching momma, before book rentals, I would join local Facebook groups that would buy/sell/trade textbooks for our community college and university. Here I was also able to make straight trades, there seems to be a lot of communication majors. Visiting local bookstores, other than the college bookstore, can be to your advantage as well. I have often purchased textbooks from Half Price Books. You can even check with your professor to see if an older edition will suffice for the course, I’ve done this with a few literature courses and successfully pulled a B and an A with a later edition.
Since book rentals have hit the scene I have been an avid rentee. I simply like the fact that I am not over paying for a book that will be used for five months. I find it ridiculous, and I know you do too, that college students are required to purchase books that go as high as $200 and will only be able to sell back for about $25. That’s insane! Don’t they know we are poor college students?!!? I have used the same book rental company for my last two semesters and have been super happy with them. Of the two books that are required for my classes I am renting, one for over half off a used copy at our college bookstore and the second I am renting for over 70% off the used copy at our bookstore. Overall, instead of paying $179 for one used textbook I am renting two for $55. And when I am done all I have to do is simply print out my packing label and send them on their way. Simple. So easy!
I have found that in my last online classes to obtain my degree more and more professors are opting to use journal articles they find on their own as reading materials and that some are even opting for no books and simply having their lectures on podcasts and power points on YouTube. I think the shift to more technological teachings is great and saves money for us college students.