Thursday, February 19, 2009

Books, books, books


Being a student you can’t come around it – you’ll need books. And loads of them.


But college books are expensive. I mean really expensive. And being on a tight budget already, it’s really difficult.

So a few money saving tips in regards to books.

There are basically 4 options you have in regards to saving money on books:

  • Buy new at student discount prices
  • Buy used
  • Borrow at library
  • Borrow from a friend

Buy new at student discount prices I present this as the first option, but really, you should consider it as your last. Buying new books will always be the most expensive option. Below I present some alternatives. However on occasion you will probably for whatever reason need to buy your books brand new. In these cases always ask if there’s a student discount. Always. I mean it. Make this your mantra when buying new books.

Buy used If you really need to buy the book then consider buying it second hand. There are great options for doing so. You can buy it used at the bookstore, from a friend or (here’s my personal favorite) on the internet. Websites like Amazon or eBay are great for buying cheap second hand books.

Borrow at the library This is a classic. If you’re only going to use the book once (say for example on a specific term paper) then this is really a good idea. Just be careful about return fees! Keep a close watch on when your books are supposed to be returned. Because return fees are really just an unnecessary expense out of your pocket. Because they can always be avoided, you just gotta hand your books in on time. Then the service is free.

Borrow from a friend If your friend’s got a book you need and he’s not reading it at the time. Ask him, nicely. If it’s ok you borrow it. There can be variations on this as well, like book-swapping - he buys one book for the course, you buy another, and you swap regularly. Another alternative is that you split the expense of the book 50%-50%. That way you still save money by buying the book at half-price. There is only one warning that needs to be heeded here! That is, you have to make sure that the friend you’re swapping/sharing with doesn’t have the same day rhythm or study habits as you. In other words, if you’re a night person then find a day person to swap with. If you’re a day person find a night person to share books with. I’ll bet you, that chances are a 100%, that the two of you will never need the books at the same time.


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