Back To School Strategy: How To Find Cheaper Textbooks Today

It’s that time of the year again when students look forward to going back to school. These are exciting times as they gain their independence, living away from home, decorating their dorm rooms, prepping their meals, and managing their own finances. A big part of education is not just the tuition and living expenses, but the textbooks needed for all their classes, which often leads to a common dilemma, how to find cheaper textbooks?

To Buy or Not to Buy

Rising costs of education and living expenses contribute to the rising level of student loans.  Many times, students have been known to struggle with buying textbooks because of the rising costs. Textbooks are often needed for all those course works, and required reading by professors on an almost daily basis.

In a recent article from Nerd Wallet, it said that in 2019, the average student loan for a Bachelor’s degree was already at $28,950, and that is just for a public four-year in-state degree. Textbooks are not covered by tuition fees, and books can easily reach $1000 for a year’s education. According to the National Association of College Stores, in 2018-2019, students spent an average of $415 on course materials each semester. Reinforcing this, the College Board recommends that students budget $1,240 for books and supplies annually.

With this scenario in place, students often weigh their options, do I need all these new textbooks? Can I survive the semester without them?

Finding Cheaper Textbooks Made Easy

So then, for an average student, the nagging dilemma is still looking for ways to save, and that includes finding cheaper textbooks.  

Compared to some years ago, students now don’t have to stress too much to find cheaper textbooks. There are several options available to them, and conveniently at their fingertips. 

Here are some of those sure-fire options that have been compiled to ease that financial burden:



While searching for some of those dorm room essentials, why not check this out also for your textbook needs? This site has so many sellers that you can narrow down your search by location, price range, and free shipping.


Equally popular for used textbooks, especially if you don’t mind older editions. Although one downside here is the bidding process since it is auction based, plus there’s the time element to consider as well.

  • Facebook

Make use of all that time scrolling through Facebook.  Search groups from your university, such as textbook exchange groups or class groups as this is a good source of used textbooks.

  • Amazon

This is another source for cheap books, in fact, their motto is, Rent. Buy. Sell. If you have a Kindle, some textbooks are even available as ebooks, making it much more convenient. You can even save as much as 90% on some textbooks.

Second-hand stores

While going around your university, hit up those second-hand bookstores. A good thing about second-hand stores is that you can immediately check the condition of the books.


Scribd offers a fixed subscription each month (which can be cancelled at any time), not only for those finding cheaper textbooks, but also for a wide-range of audiobooks, ebooks, and magazines.  Quite a good deal too, especially if you think of all the research papers you need to churn out each semester. 

Sometimes, with so many options out there, one can easily get overwhelmed. A good tip is to use a price comparison tool such as for the best deals. It allows you to compare prices of online sellers without having to go to each website. It even makes the search easy by title or ISBN. Saves you both time and money!  How easy is that?

Going back to school while exciting, can also give students a sense of dread because of the financial burden. Finding cheaper textbooks shouldn’t be one of them with this list. Savings from cheaper textbooks can give students a much-needed reprieve, and allow them to splurge on other essentials, and have the time of their lives while in college.  Save the stress for all the late-night studying, loads of paper writing for submission, and case studies. 

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