Decrease your cost of college textbooks

I’ve compiled my favorite list of text book resources that will largely benefit college students but high school students will be able to impress their teachers, and students of life can impress their peers with their knowledge of Immanuel Kant, Socrates, Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli to name a few of the influential writers of all time.

The best part about these authors is that their work rest in the public domain so they are easily found in digitalized form for free.  I’m a huge fan of audio books, I latched onto them while I was trying to be more efficient when I was juggling a full time job, and going to college full time.  It’s easy to digest materials while driving, working out, and putting you to sleep.

My all time favorite site is people have donated their time to read public domain books of texts you would want to read.

There are many more thousand books in the public domain that are not audio books but just simply ebooks that can be found at Project Gutenberg for free.

Okay so your textbook or source material is not in the public domain what now?

You may have one extra source that will allow to see if your required textbook is merely fluff or it may have enough of the book available for free to get that one assignment question out of the way.  Go over to Google Books and search by ISBN number if you have it or title and author.

One of the drawbacks to Google Books is that it will allow you access a lot of college textbooks but, it will have parts of chapters missing, limited times you can view the text, not able to save the book etc.

Sites you’ll have to pay for but are worth the prices over your school’s traditional bookstore or preferred vendor.  I literally saved $1000 on one semester by purchasing my books from Abebooks over my school’s preferred vendor.  You know at the inflated prices being charged the school is getting some sort of kickback.

Abebooks typically offers a wide selection of “grey market” books which are international editions of books that differ from US versions only in price, and typically they are paperback vs hardcover to cut cost.  It used to be many of these international books were in black and white or grayscale but all of the books I’ve ordered have all been in color.  Your mileage may vary on this minor issue.

Amazon also saved me a ton of money through their direct sales and by utilizing their Amazon Marketplace for used books and used materials for my college coursework.  There are a couple of other great resources that Amazon has to offer students first is Amazon Student it is a page of typical student supplies that is easy to search.  The second resource is great for college students who have .edu email addresses, you can get one free year of Amazon Prime.

Textbooklink is another great resource that offers an easy to use search for buying and selling multiple textbooks in one submission. If you need to sell your textbooks back they will even send you a prepaid shipping label, and offer payment by Paypal or check.

Bookbyte is much like the Textbooklink offering the ability to buy and sell books.  Unlike Textbooklink they do not have the ability to have a mass search for books to buy, but they do offer that capability if you need a quote to sell your books.  They also offer a prepaid labels to sell your books back.

Barnes & Noble The mainstream bookstore that in fact run many on campus branches under different names click here to find out if your campus is one of them.  This is a good source if you family gave you a Barnes and Noble gift card and you also need a text book. They sell new and used books that vary on affordability.  Prices may vary at the campus bookstore, and Barnes & Noble online so be sure to check every angle.

Realistically you best bet if you are stuck with a Barnes & Noble store at your campus, is to purchase your books from a vendor above and sell your book back to your campus bookstore you’ll often turn a profit in this transaction, and you got to use a textbook for your semester.

Seriously I don’t want to buy a book

This strategy is still on the table many people if you can handle working a little bit harder.  Find your professor or instructor’s email or someone in the department; ask former students if the book is required for the class.  A lot of teachers simply stick the textbook required by the department in their syllabus; but never use the materials.

If you happen to be taking your classes in an online format there is almost no way to get around purchasing a book, as you are teaching yourself the material, there is often no lecture to listen too.  Most of the test and exam questions will come from the book so unless you happen to be an expert in the subject matter being successful without a book will be challenging at best.

Share your success stories in the comments below.