Updated: Aug 1
August is coming ever closer by the day, and with it too comes the beginning of another semester of school. And while I'm sure everyone is ready for a touch of normalcy to be added back to their lives, I know that our wallets shudder ever more at the grand cost of the whole ordeal. For even should our tuition be met by scholarships or family, often does the expense of books and fees fall to us. Yet there is still hope to spare our bank accounts, there exist many a way for us to get discounted or even free textbooks.
Avoid Using Campus Bookstores
If it can at all be helped, avoid buying books and supplies from your campus bookstore as much as possible. They know that they have a near monopoly established upon the textbook market and will exercise their power as such, inflating their prices to almost unreasonable amounts! This can be seen in the fact that buying even just a candy bar from a college bookstore will run you for about twice the normal price! These establishments are clearly attempting to take advantage of students with no other option than to purchase goods from stores on campus. Therefor it is not only through means of budge preservation, but through a principal of common decency that it is our duty to deprive such places of business. As it is through these means and only these means that they might see a blow to profits and then be so entitled as to change their ways. Though even so, I fear our efforts in this front could possibly be in vein, for it is true still that these establishments receive funding direct from the university they are attached to. Yet I still have hope that we might put an end to these bookstores through the wonders of the internet, for E-books and online orders may still prevail over this menace.
Use E-Books When Possible
E-books are an outstanding resource when on a budget! No matter which channel you travel to obtain them, they will always be more affordable than their paper counterparts, with the added convenience of being stored on any device you already carry around as a bonus! Often times you are able to find these electronic textbooks online for free (so long as you're willing to brave some more than questionable sites). However If you wish to go about getting these books through more official (albeit less sketchy) methods, an electronic textbook will always be hundreds of dollars cheaper than the physical version!
Always Buy Used Books
Should you find yourself under circumstances of which you are forced into buying a paper textbook, always buy used and damaged copies if you are able! Stores will not resell unusable copies with pages missing, so this will always be a safe bet. These used and damaged copies will tend to sell for around a third or under the price of a new copy! They truly can be life saving!
In closing, don't let booksellers take advantage of you, there is always a way to get these books for a price well below market value!