Skip to main content

Textbook Time

While in college, I worked at the college bookstore. It was great for me -- discount! -- but I saw the pain of textbook buying a thousand times over, every single semester.

When I taught at Rutgers-Camden, I tried to pick a book that was cheap, and my second text was online.

Not all professors are that way, though. So if you're looking to find cheap books, here are a few options. Remember to look for the current edition and PREVIOUS edition of the book online. Sometimes changes from edition to edition are slight, and the previous edition is fine.

1. Half.com. This is my go-to site when buying books. I've also sold my old textbooks through the site and made enough cash to keep my dog in fancy kibble.

2. Amazon.com. Amazon's set up a textbook page for you crazy college kids (full disclosure: I am part of the Amazon Associates programs, so if you click on that link and buy something, I get a couple of quarters in commission).

3. Your bookstore. Colleges do buy back books at the end of the semester and re-sell them. These can run out quickly, though.

4. Online. My "textbook" for one of my Shakespeare classes were copies of the texts printed from the web. How can I do that? Because no one owns the copyright of Shakespeare. The same is true for a lot of older texts, so they're online for free. I have a Shakespeare iPhone App, too - again, free.

5. Cheap versions. If you're taking an English class, you can get about 1000 different versions of the works of Keats or Wordsworth. Dover's books are great, and they do the best to keep their costs down. They used to be Dover Dollar Editions, but the prices have gone up. Still, they're cheaper than buying a $15 paperback.

Of course, your teacher might want a specific edition by a specific publisher, but most professors know the costs of textbooks and are OK if you save money where you can -- at least in the humanities.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome Back to Book a Week with Jen!

Hello hello! Yes, the rumors (that I started) are true. On New Year's Day, I fired up the old Book a Week with Jen blog, gave it a new domain, and I'm going to be writing about my reading habits once again. If you don't know me, my name is Jen A. Miller , and I'm a freelance writer and author. I've been freelancing now for 17 years, and in that time, have written hundreds of articles, three books ( two about the Jersey Shore and one about running ), and two ebooks ( both about freelance writing ). If you're not new around here, wow a lot has changed. I wrote a memoir , picked up a regular running column for the New York Times , and put that back down again. I ran a lot of marathons, and got into ultra marathoning, which lead me to run my first 24 hour race on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day 2020/2021 . My first dog, Emily, died in 2017 . I sold my first home, lived out of my car for a year traveling the country , scooped up a scruffy cattle dog mix in Ida

Book 1 of 52: Widowland by C.J. Carey

In 1937, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor had a private meeting with Hitler at his home in the Bavarian Alps. This was a year after the former King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallace Simpson (hence the lower Duke title). What happened at this meeting is still a mystery. However, what is known is that the Duke of Windsor was a Nazi sympathizer, and that the Nazis also devised a plan called where Germany would take over Britain and make Duke king again, in exchange for "peace." In 1940, the Nazis launched "Operation Willi," with plans to kidnap the Duke and convince him of this pact (you might know some of this if you watched The Crown . I yelled "oh these two knobs" when Edward and Wallace came onto screen). Operation Willi failed. Widowland by C.J. Carey asks this: what if it had succeeded?  As you can imagine, nothing good! This "what if..." picks up in 1953. England is subjugated under Germany, with all

Review: Cleaving by Julie Powell

I didn't want it to end up this way. But, unfortunately, it's true: Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession , Julie Powell's follow up to the best selling, immensely fun and delightful Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously , is not a very good book. It's dull. It's trite. And it reads more like an unbalanced woman's rambling than something being marketed as the Hot Holiday Memoir. I started my first Book a Week series with Julie & Julia . It's a charming book where Powell sets out to cook every single recipe in Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking . It started as a blog, and once the blog caught media fire, became a book, then a movie starring Meryl Streep and directed by one of my heros, Nora Ephron. That book isn't just about the cooking challenge, but also about being a 20-something stuck in the middle, and she can't get out of it. She married young, which is part of the story. The other is not knowing w