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Tips for Saving Money on Textbooks

This list of suggestions is meant to help students save money when purchasing textbooks. Explore options to make informed decisions. First, check AscAgnes for textbook-specific ISBNs (e.g., 9781429218153), or ask if your professor approves another edition.

  1. Campus Bookstore: Textbooks in print, eBooks from Follett, rentals and cash buyback for your used textbooks.
  2. Purchase Used Textbooks: Cheaper than new books! You can buy used textbooks online
  3. eBooks: Electronic editions of books are often less expensive than print versions. All major retailer sell eBooks, as do book publishers. Campus libraries collect eBooks, too!
  4. Comparison Shop: Use ISBNs (international standard book numbers) to comparison shop the major book sellers or use with sites that compare prices. ISBNs should be in AscAgnes course details.
  5. Online Book Swaps: Certain sites allow you to trade books with other students online.
  6. Rent Textbooks: Some sites allow you to rent textbooks for a specific timeframe. Make sure you return the books on time as late fees can be significant. Be clear on rental terms and conditions before you commit.
  7. Free Downloads: Some books that are no longer copyrighted can be used online or downloaded for free.
  8. Ask for Unbundled Textbooks: Many textbooks come bundled with CD-ROMs and workbooks. Ask your professor to consider assigning unbundled texts.
  9. McCain Library Course Reserves: Some, not all, expensive textbooks may available for a 2-hour loan. Ask at the Circ Desk. Also, ask your professor if they are willing to put a personal or review copy of the textbook on reserve at McCain Library. While the whole class may be sharing it, it can at least help while you wait for your own copy to arrive in the mail.
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