Affordable Textbooks: Money Saving Tips for Renting Textbooks in College

affordable textbooks

In just 10 years, college tuition and fees increased by 63%, those fees include the rising prices of textbooks. If you are a current college student, you probably don’t find this statistic surprising.

Even with efforts like the Affordable College Textbook Act, most students have to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, on textbooks alone. That’s on top of the already high tuition prices that are also rising.

Let’s face it, finding affordable textbooks is difficult. We want to make the process less stressful for you which is why we wrote this guide.

Read on to learn about money-saving tips for gaining college textbooks.

Where to Rent Textbooks

There are different platforms where you can rent affordable textbooks which is why comparing prices is always a good idea. At, we make it easy for you to compare prices for all kinds of textbooks.

For affordable college textbooks, your best options are price comparisons from Chegg and eCampus.

College students tend to spend thousands on textbooks because they shop at their school’s bookstore. Even third-party book stores amp their prices up. Because of this, renting textbooks from these places should be a last resort.

Tips on Buying Affordable Textbooks

Affordable college textbooks are hard to come by, but there are a few tips you can follow to save you major bucks. Here is our best advice on saving money.

Avoid the Bookstore Like the Plague

Yes, we’ve already touched on this, but when it comes to textbook affordability, the bookstore is your worst enemy. These stores are filled with shiny, new books that you’ll use for one semester and never need again.

Although they do offer used items, the prices are still marked high. You can usually find textbooks online for cheaper.

Wait Until After Class to Buy

We know you want to be a good student and follow the syllabus before getting into the classroom. However, when it comes to buying textbooks before class, we recommend waiting.

Some college professors are aware of the rising cost of textbooks but don’t always have a choice for which ones they require for class. However, some professors are willing to work with their students who need it most.

You may go to class with your brand new textbook just to find out that you don’t actually need it for the class, it was just a suggestion. You may also learn that your professor has extra copies for students to share.

If you do need a textbook after the first class, ask your professor for affordable recommendations if they didn’t already mention it to the students.

Unless strictly stated in your syllabus that you need to have your textbook with you on the first day of class, buying it after class is usually no biggie. If you are afraid to take that risk, email your professor beforehand to get input.

Buy Used

A used book is often the more affordable textbook option. When you can’t rent a textbook, consider the used options before buying a new one. You can resale a used or new textbook down the line.

Even though you can sell a new textbook after the semester has ended, you will never make a good enough return to make it worth it. This is mainly due to the fact that it is no longer new because you used it.

Look for eBooks

Because of the rising use of technology in colleges, publishers are starting to offer their textbooks as eBooks. This is a great option for when you don’t need a physical copy of your textbook.

An eBook can be looked at on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Chances are, you are already taking one or more of these things to class every day.

If you are an avid highlighter and note-taker, don’t fret! Nowadays, most eBooks can be virtually bookmarked and highlighted.

Check the Library

Campus and local libraries won’t have every textbook, especially the newer ones, but checking anyway is worth a shot to save some money.

We recommend looking through the library as soon as you know what books you need. These entities may have some of the textbooks your classes require but often have limited availability.

Split Costs With a Friend

We recommend splitting costs with a friend as a last resort because working out the details can get tricky. If you and someone you know well are both taking the same class at different times, this may be a doable option.

It can definitely save on costs to split a used or rented textbook, but make sure you have access to it when you need it most. For example, if you need it during class, for help with completing assignments, or to study for an exam.


The last tip for finding affordable textbooks is a given. You should always rent when you can!

There is often no good reason to buy a new textbook that you’ll only need for a few months and then never pick up again. You can rent new textbooks, used textbooks, and even eBooks.

All you have to do is find the right supplier. That’s what we are here for!

Finding Affordable Textbooks With a Price Comparison Engine

At, we don’t sell any of the books listed. Our goal isn’t to make money, it is to help college students save wherever they can.

We know how hard it can be to find affordable textbooks. With this guide, we hope to save you as much money as possible.

We have an abundance of articles on how to save money in college, check them out on our blog. For help with finding a specific book, start browsing textbooks here!

Textbook Talk: 8 Tips to Save Money on Textbooks in College


Are you looking for textbooks to use for your studies?

As a college student, you know how essential your textbooks are to your classes. They allow you to keep up with your courses and lectures while providing some insight on what the more complicated terms in your course are. However, you’ll also know that they’re always expensive no matter what.

There are a lot of reasons for the soaring prices of any college textbook. Time and time again, it’s caused around 65% of students to skip buying them altogether. What’s great is that you need not spend so much on textbooks anymore.

With the right know-how, you can spend less on textbooks and save money in college. Below are eight ways you can do so. Read on and save every penny that you can to help you in your studies.

1. Avoid the Campus Bookstore

Avoiding the bookstore on your campus is the first thing you should know to do if you want to save money in college. Universities will always stock their shelves with the books they’ll tell their students to buy in any given course. If they’ll recommend something, it’s best to provide the books themselves, after all.

The appeal of buying from the campus bookstore is convenience. You won’t need to go out to shop around for books since you know they’ll have it in stock. However, convenience literally comes with a high price tag in this case.

Go explore your options outside the campus if you’re looking to cut your spending. Only buy something from the university bookstore if they have a special edition of something that you can’t find outside. Again, this should only be an option if it’s essential for your studies.

2. Check Out Older Editions of the Books You Need

Another way to save up on cash is to look for the older editions of the books listed on your syllabus. These often have a lower price since colleges put a priority on selling the newer ones, instead. In most cases, you need not worry about the differences between each edition.

Most changes are aesthetic, giving the new editions a nicer look, and more comprehensive content. Speaking of content, there are only small changes made to correct statistics in most cases. You’ll only need to ask your professors if the content is accurate and correct what’s on the book if need be.

The only major problem you’ll have is with the page number of the older books. The content you’ll need to look up during a lecture may be on a different page altogether. It’s best that you hunt down topics and place bookmarks wherever necessary with older edition textbooks. 

3. Visit the Library

The public library can be your haven while you’re studying at college. You can browse their selection to see if they have the textbook you need in stock. You can then borrow them for extended periods of time. 

This is the best place for those looking for books for their liberal arts classes. There’s a high chance that you’ll find the books you’ll need here, be it fiction or non-fiction. With such a large selection, the proper textbook citation will help you find the ones you need quickly.

You can also order books ahead of time from the library. This is useful when dealing with the newer editions your classes need you to get. In time, they’ll have it in stock for you to use.

What’s great is that you can even study in the library for some peace and quiet. This is great when you have a disruptive roommate to deal with.

4. Look For Book Rentals

Textbook rental is among the best options for you when you’re being frugal in college. There are tons of places to rent from, like the campus library, and you don’t have to make a full commitment to the book. 

However, there are some guidelines you need to know. For one, you need to make sure no major damage goes to the book. Otherwise, you won’t be able to return it, and you’ll need to pay the full price by the end of the semester.

5. Share With Your Peers

Sharing is always a viable option that you can do with different people. Your roommate and classmates may be willing to share textbooks with you, allowing you to cut the costs of college life. This works best when you’re schedules are staggered, allowing you to use the book without conflict.

You can also offer to split the cost of the textbook. This way, you’ll at least be more comfortable taking the book when you need to use it.

6. Use Electronic Alternatives

Ebooks are growing in popularity nowadays thanks to how easy they are to access. They’ve also proved to be helpful in higher education, promoting its viability in certain courses.

All you need for this option to be viable is a good ebook reader. You can download these for free online, or you can opt for premium ones. Premium options have features that offer convenience when browsing through your ebook.

7. Settle For Used Textbooks

Settling for used textbooks is also something you can consider. Since they’re secondhand, they’re cheaper and will allow you to carry one with your studies unimpeded. Most of them are even in great condition, only having minor folds or creases.

You may even find textbooks with notes left by the previous owner. These may prove useful and help you get ahead of your studies. The only drawback is that there may be ones with signs of vandalism, but it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle.

8. Sell Textbooks to the University

If anything, you can always sell textbooks to the university. Any recent textbook that you don’t need can fetch quite the price in the university bookstore. You can then use the money for the next set of books you’ll need for next semester.

If you can’t find a good price in the campus bookstore, you can look for textbook brokers, instead. They’ll buy your books for a good price and you may even find useful textbooks from them for sale.

Save Money on Each College Textbook Today

College textbooks need not be so expensive. Learn what you can do to cut costs and save money on each textbook purchase. Use the tips above and make your college life easier today!

Do you want to compare the prices of textbooks available to rent in your area? Check out our service and see rental price listings today!