Textbook Tips and Tricks


If you recently looked at the cost of your textbooks and cried a little inside, I have some ways to make that feeling (possibly) go away for good. I'm talking about getting those $300 textbooks for cheap, sometimes free.

  1. Get the international version of your book. The only difference from the US version and the international version is that they will be in black and white, paperback, and may have some different problem set questions. I got my Physics textbook for $89 dollars when is was originally $266 at my university bookstore. Go to AbeBooks to see if you can find the international version of your textbook for less.
  2. Find the PDF version of your book. Sometimes, if you search hard enough, you can get a PDF version of your textbook for free. I was able to find my Calculus textbook in PDF format the other day, and it saved me almost $200. Just type in your textbook name/ISBN number and the word PDF into your search bar. You may have to weed through some nasty sites or you may not be able to find your book, not all companies publish a PDF textbook version.
  3. Rent them. Renting your textbooks can be so much cheaper than buying textbooks, and if you aren't going to use the book again after the semester, renting is the better option all together.
  4. Use these websites to try and find your textbook:
    1. Open Culture
    2. Book Boon
    3. Flat World Knowledge
    4. Library Pirate
    5. Wikibooks
    6. Project Gutenberg
    7. Medical Textbooks
    8. Science and Math Textbooks
    9. MIT Open Courseware
    10. Business Textbooks
    11. Math Textbooks
    12. Science and Engineering Textbooks
    13. This Reddit post for more links.
  5. Go to your University Library and borrow your textbook. Many University library's have at least one copy of the textbook you may need, so if you know you may never crack open that textbook, but you still want to have access to it, the University Library is the way to go.