Michael on August 15th, 2008
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The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about saving on college textbooks that should be required reading for -

You: Pun intended?

Got me, but if you or someone you know are heading back to school this fall and are sick of paying a ton of money for often boring, yet required, reading be sure take a look at the story. Highlighted strategies include:

  1. Electronic textbooks
  2. Price comparison sites
  3. Textbook rentals (who would have thought?)
  4. Open source textbooks (can’t wait until these becomes the standard!)

When I was in college, textbooks were really expensive. Seems to me the Internet should have evened the playing field somewhat, giving new life to used and reusable books. Yet, many professors (who write these books) and their publishers have bundled software or notes packages. In fact, the premise of the WSJ article discussed a bill that all but (finally!) prohibits the behavior. So there is hope for the little folks!

What strategies have you used or seen used to cut down on the expense of required reading?

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2 Comments to “Going to school? Save on textbooks”

  1. bethh says:

    Your local library may be able to get not-new versions of your text books via Inter Library Loan. You should visit their likely source, WorldCat, which is a combined library catalog for a large percentage of the libraries in the US (some international representation there too). http://www.worldcat.org/search

    This isn’t advisable if you are one of 1000 students taking a basic lit class, but if you’re one of 30 adults from the region taking a business management course, you may well find that this works for you. Be advised that your library can’t control how long you get to borrow the book – it will depend on the rules established by the library that owns the item.

    I did this for half of my grad school program and it was awesome. Of course I was the ILL librarian, so I wasn’t annoying anyone :)

  2. Ted says:

    I would suggest that renting is the best way to go, as it requires less money up front.

    When it comes to purchasing textbooks online, you also might want to check out this independent study that finds the cheapest places to buy textbooks.

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