You read the headline right – - free textbooks. If you can’t take advantage of free books, how about saving hundreds just by shopping around. The days of spending $500 on textbooks are over if you know how to save.
OhioLink is a searchable database of 48 million books that students can use to find free textbooks. 88 colleges and universities across the state offer the books for free to students on a checkout basis. You get the book for a set amount of time, but can renew it. The big catch is that you could lose the book midway through the semester if another student recalls the book. Students I spoke to at John Carroll University told me they’ve used OhioLink with no recall problems.
If your textbook is not in the database or you don’t live in Ohio, see if your book is open source and available for free.
Sharing textbooks with a roommate or classmate is another way to save money.
Many students are picking up on the new trend to rent textbooks. It’s cheaper than buying new or used books, but you need to consider the long term investments. If you know that book will be worth money at the end of the semester it may be a better idea to buy used and sell the book. You may spend more for the used book upfront, but could pay less overall after you sell the book back. That’s a gamble, though, because you never know if a book will be needed again the following year. Some professors like to change books yearly.
The Internet provides a great way to save money. Shop online, and buy international books. It’s a great way to get virtually the same book for less. For more online shopping tips to save money and sites that can help you compare prices , click here to see my tips I gave NewsChannel 5 viewers.
So, what about ebooks? They can be cheaper on the surface, but students say they can be expensive if you have to print the pages. Watch the video below to see if ebooks will help save traditional college bookstores, or if they’ll face the same fate as the bookstores that are closing.