Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post
College Book Store

How you can save on textbooks this semester

In addition to tuition, purchasing textbooks has become a wave of shock for students each semester that no school supplies coupon can alleviate.

Textbook prices increased 1,041 percent from January 1977 to June 2015, according to an NBC News analysis from the data of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Kate Youngson, a senior in the pre-nursing program, said when purchasing textbooks, it's a different way of thinking.

Students are scouring the Internet, spending their time and energy trying to find the best price, but with a health sciences background, Youngson said she's still shelling out the cash.

“I feel that we spend quite a bit of money on books — no one really enjoys it when that time rolls around,” Youngson said. "It tends to empty the bank account."

As a pre-nursing major, Youngson said she doesn't really have a choice when it comes to buying textbooks for her major classes, especially one that cost her more than $500.

“I try to find the best deals,” she said. “I try to find what books I need early, and then go on Amazon, eBay — pretty much anywhere where I can get the cheapest textbook."

For her nursing classes, Youngson said she prefers to buy, rather than rent, because she likes to write and highlight in them, but there’s no preference between new or used.

Kyle Hildreth, a sophomore studying integrated media, spoke about his experience as a freshman looking for textbooks and what he is doing differently this year.

“What I learned from my freshman year — don’t ever buy textbooks until you attend your first class, because sometimes you don’t even need them,” Hildreth said. “The first time I didn’t know how finding textbooks worked and how they were organized (in stores). Now I know they are organized by classes and teachers, making it a lot easier.”

Hildreth said he is adamant about buying textbooks so he can sell them back and make a profit, especially if the professor does not move on to the next edition.

Eliza Harper, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, said she puts a lot of time and research in to picking a textbook for her classes.  

“It has to be easy to read — especially with nursing — pictures and illustrations are very important,” said Harper, who had to have students buy a brand new edition this year compared to  the three-year-old textbook. “We try to keep the same book as long as possible because the students like to sell the book. It virtually has no value if the book isn’t the same every year. The content needed to be updated because of the Affordable Care Act and politics.”

Harper said she prefers textbooks with pictures, clear content and electronic learning for students to interact with the book. The pricing for textbooks, she said, is an investment that students should use to their advantage, by doing things such as reading and marking the book while studying.

“I will look for the appropriate book, and then I will look for the best one that’s affordable,” Harper said. “I’m not going to look into a $200 book, if I can get the same content for $100. The books can be really expensive. As a group, the faculty will set a meeting and discuss what books and the cost. We try to utilize a book for multiple courses even.”

Youngson isn't alone when she searches the Internet for the best deals. Cj Riggs, a senior studying strategic communication, said her financial situation has her cutting every corner she can.

“Every textbook is so expensive anymore, by the time I buy four or five, I'm broke,” Riggs said. “I definitely search for the cheapest every time.”

As a senior, Riggs’ advice for freshmen is that it’s possible to get away with an older edition of a textbook or reading the book online for free via a PDF. But if students are really in a bind, she said to find a friend in the class and see if it’s possible to share the book.

Renting off of websites or bookstores is an option for students, and one to seriously consider if there is not a possibility they will need that textbook in the future.

“I use Chegg and Amazon for my online ordering of mostly used books and rentals,” Riggs said. “I usually use Follett’s Bookstore for the books I have to buy brand new. I found out just in time for this semester that you can rent from the library. I feel like I have been out of the loop for so long.”

Steve Steward, a librarian at Alden Library, said the library generally does not purchase textbooks on a regular basis, but it never hurts to check the catalogue.

“If we have a copy of it, they can borrow it,” he said. “We usually have a lot of people at the beginning of each semester looking for textbooks. The only problem is if someone else requested it, they will not be able to renew it.”

Steward said if Alden does not have the book a student might need, the library can borrow it from OhioLINK, an online forum where students can have the available books sent to the library.

Riggs said if the professor does not require her to purchase the textbook, she doesn’t buy it.

“Earlier in my college years, I would try and find my textbooks in advance, but now I tend to wait until like the first week of school for some of my classes just so I can get a feel for if I’ll need the book,” Youngson said. “Mostly for nursing though, our professors are pretty good about telling us if we’ll need that book, or we’ll tend to use it a lot. When I wasn’t taking nursing classes, I tended to think I wouldn’t need the book since a lot of professors do PowerPoint, and you usually get the information you need from those. “

Riggs said of course she thinks textbooks are overpriced, but “if you spend the time looking in the right places, you can find huge discounts.”


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH