Textbook How To

Save your money for other things; buy books cheaply, if at all

by Published: Jul 3, 2013

The rest of America has stopped going to book­stores. What keeps col­lege stu­dents spend­ing their loan money there?

College is expen­sive, but the Internet and its end­less array of life loop­holes, ways around things and places to buy any­thing is lim­it­less. Use that.

It’s actu­ally a fairly straight­for­ward sit­u­a­tion, one leav­ing us flab­ber­gasted by any­one who opens their wal­let in a col­lege bookstore.

An off cam­pus book­store —now that’s a start. Great Lakes Bookstore could be a start, but there is an even sweeter option than that: the glo­ri­ous Internet.

The eas­i­est, and often best, choice is that online thrift shop Amazon​.com. Providing just about every text­book a broke col­lege kid could need, any edi­tion, used or new, for a cost that would make the bookstore’s price tags blush.

The Internet also pro­vides the auc­tion option in the var­i­ous vari­ants of Ebay and the rent­ing web­sites for the commitment-averse buyer.

There’s also the always prefer­able pur­chas­ing of a book from a fel­low stu­dent, which pro­vides the buyer with a cheap book and the seller with an easy, shipping-free sale that prob­a­bly recoups more of the ini­tial cost anyway.

Granted, we’re get­ting ahead of our­selves. Wallets need not be opened, nor credit card infor­ma­tion entered into the Internet’s ether. You may not need to buy the book, nor even have it at all.

Sometimes, the text­book isn’t even needed. It’s always wise to wait for a class or two to gauge whether the book is needed, and to ask a few friends who’ve already taken the class whether they really needed it.

There is also a lot of value in a book buddy. Find some­one to go half-and-half with on books, trad­ing the text back-and-forth those few times home­work is due.

Save the has­sle and just say no to buy­ing book­store text­books. There are broke col­lege kids who need the money more and Amazon mavens that aren’t ham-fistedly abus­ing the fresh­men who just don’t know any better.

Bookstore-free is the way to be.