Textbooks contribute to a considerable amount of college expenses. Even with the rising price of books, students still need to have the right supplies to perform well. It places parents in a difficult position as they try to strike a balance between their children’s welfare and the cost of books.

Keeping in mind that there are college expenses to cater to, such as food, transport, and accommodation, students with shoe-string budgets may have to sacrifice other needs to purchase textbooks. Since publishers are defending their pricing structure and attributing it to high printing costs and poor economic performance, students are the ones left feeling the heat.

Nevertheless, there are ways to reduce the textbook burden. Here are some brilliant ones that don’t require you to sacrifice your grades.

Buy Used Books

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Do you sometimes get stuck with assignments because of lacking essential books required for the assignments and have to seek writing assistance from platforms like MasterPapers – paper writing service?

If you do, you should try improving your accessibility to research material by buying used books. Second-hand textbooks are more affordable, meaning you can buy several textbooks without denting your pocket. However, you should ensure the books you want to buy are in readable condition and have similar information found in the class readings.

Doing so ensures that you will get the same information but at a cheaper price compared to buying a new book. You can purchase used books from various places, such as Amazon, local bookstores, or your university bookstore.

Get Older Textbook Editions

Publishers release new editions of books after a couple of years. Nonetheless, the content is typically the same in most instances. Despite having the same content, the new editions are surprisingly more expensive than the previous edition. It raises the question of why you should pay more for the same content.

So, the next time you want to order that print copy online or from a library, remember to specify you need the older version. It will go a long way to save you a few dollars.

Use Renting Options

Renting is another way to reduce the cost of books significantly. Unlike buying, renting allows you to have the book for a specific period before returning it. It is best applicable if the book is needed for particular tasks or concepts.

Also, renting would be a cheaper alternative if a book is listed as an additional or supplemental resource in course materials. Moreover, book rental sites usually stock the latest book editions, giving you a chance to get the latest edition, which is convenient, especially if the editions are updated and include new concepts.

Through renting, you free up money for other college expenses, such as purchasing papers at an essay writing service, food, or entertainment.

Make the Library Your Friend

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College libraries are one of the most underutilized resources by students. Most libraries contain a lot of books, so you only need to know where to look. Before rushing to the library, ensure you have checked with your library to ensure the book you want to use is available.

A tip to ensure you get the materials that are commonly used is to check during the onset of the semester. It will increase your chances of getting the books, unlike waiting when the semester is busy, and everyone is flocking in the library.

Remember, the early bird catches the worm, which also applies to sourcing course material from the library.

Make Use of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Institutions have adopted OER to help parents and students reduce the burden of buying textbooks. OER refers to learning, research, and teaching resources, including books and lecture materials, released to the public under an intellectual property license agreement between the publishers and users to permit free accessibility and use.

Some also allow for repurposing to fit learners’ needs. These directories allow students to access course materials and share them, thus reducing the cost of books. If your institution has an OER, check for the course books before considering buying.

Buy E-Textbooks

Textbook hard copies are more expensive compared to e-books due to their high printing and distribution costs. Also, e-books are convenient to buy as you don’t have to incur delivery costs or wait. Once you pay, the book is made available. Moreover, e-books are available in all editions. If you want to own a book rather than rent and still want to save on costs, e-books are a convenient choice.

Sell Your Books Back

As you further your education in college, there will be textbooks you would not need to keep. Do you have a pile of books you don’t use and wonder what to do with them? You can sell them as used books and use the money to acquire the books you need for present and future use.

But before selling them, carefully go through your course outline to ascertain that you will not be needing them. Most campuses usually have a buyback program allowing students to sell their books through the campus bookstore. You can also sell the books online using sites like Amazon but at a slightly reduced rate.


College education is a defining moment in a student’s career and life ambitions; therefore, it should not be thwarted for any reason. The rising prices of college textbooks continue to be a threat to college students’ dreams and have resulted in some students failing exams while others score average grades because they cannot afford textbooks. It’s unfair, especially because all students, regardless of who can afford or not afford books, will sit for the same exam.

To make the best of your textbook budget, you must look for the cheapest ways to afford the reading materials. It includes buying used textbooks, using e-books, renting books, using OER, going to the library, or even selling your books back. Don’t let your budget limit you from achieving your dreams.

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