where to find cheap textbooksAre you looking for cheap textbooks online? No wonder you do - given the skyrocketing prices of textbooks, most students turn into true online textbook-hunters. The most important thing is not to end up like some pessimists who give up the search way too fast.
You should not buy expensive textbooks in the closest Barnes & Noble shop only because that seems easier. All you need to pay less for your textbooks is some patience and a few tips on where to find cheap textbooks (the latter are provided below).

Best Options to Save Cash on Textbooks

Firstly, you should know for sure which textbooks you cannot go without and which are optional. Do not make such decisions on your own – better ask your teacher which textbooks are must-haves.
Secondly, you should consider the following best options for finding the cheapest must-have textbooks possible:

  • find e-books on the web (they can be for free or cheaper than hard copies);
  • rent textbooks instead of buying them;
  • buy used textbooks;
  • sell your old textbooks to buy new ones.

So, if you do not mind reading from the monitor and you want to save a tree, you can search for free and cheap e-books online on sites such as:

  1. Project Gutenberg – free digital textbooks;
  2. Bookboon – free digital textbooks;
  3. Bookstep – free and cheap digital textbooks. You can use the option of “renting an e-book” and pay only for the time you spend reading it.

And, only between you and me, you can even check if some of your optional readings are available through Google Books. Though you will be able to view only some pages from those books, you can still learn a lot from these excerpts. Your teachers do not necessarily need to know that you used Google Books, right?

Tools for Comparing Prices

If you cannot find an e-book or you hate reading from the monitor, you can use the following tools for comparing prices and finding the cheapest hard copies of textbooks:

  1. Book.ly;
  2. Twenty Million Minds Foundation;
  3. Cheap Textbooks by Comparison Shopping

Where to Find Cheap Textbooks for Rent

Sure, renting a textbook is much cheaper than buying it. These are a few hubs with cheapest textbooks for rent, which can help you save a bundle:

The only disadvantage of this option is that you will need to return the textbooks very soon after your finals. Yet, the saving is worth this hassle.

Where to Find Cheap Textbooks for Sale

If, however, you need to use some textbooks for reference, you may want to buy them from one of the following sites:

  1. half.com. The name of this site is self-explanatory – from this subsidiary of Ebay you can buy used textbooks at half the price.
  2. amazon.com is one of the most reputable sellers of textbooks.
  3. Socialbib.com is a site that helps you trade books with other students. You will need to create an account and then to earn credits by trading in your old books. These credits will allow you to get the books you need for free. So, give your books to somebody and somebody else will give their books to you.

Good luck with your textbook-hunting! Please, let us know if you have found cheap textbooks for rent or sale on these sites (or others). Feel free to share your experiences and tips or even questions in the section below.

Comments (5)

  • Nathalie Villeneuve Posted:

    Hello Julia, I love this article for many reason. First my son will start college next year and who this will be a great resource. I am going to search for books on marketing. These books can be expensive and I am sure I will be able to find great deals. Thank you for sharing your gold nuggets!


    • Julia Reed Posted:

      Hi Nathalie,
      I hope you will find great deals on these sites and save a bundle. I am a cheap textbook hunter myself. There is nothing more discouraging than buying an expensive printed book only to know that it doesn’t have the information you need. I love e-books because they are cheaper and more environment-friendly.
      Good luck with your searches and your new site!

    • Anna Posted:

      Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wtnead to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • Galen Morgigno Posted:

    Julie, I wanted to thank you for leaving a comment at my website! 🙂 Thought I would return the favor!

    This article is a great resource for used text books. Thanks for sharing!

    posted by Galen Morgigno

    • Julia Reed Posted:

      Hi Galen,
      It’s my pleasure to see you at our blog. I hope my collection of free and cheap textbook resources will come in handy for you.
      Thank you for your kind comment. We highly appreciate your feedback.