Spring semester is almost here. You know what that means! It is TEXTBOOK SEASON. I’ve compiled a list of ways to obtain textbooks and the pros and cons of each of them. It might seem pretty mundane, but textbooks are a huge part of prepping for class and hey, it’s Monday… We have to start the week out small.
1. Buy new: The most expensive of all of the options, but it guarantees that you have the right edition. The Northeastern Bookstore is organized alphabetically (with course numbers included), which helps ease the pain of finding the correct textbook. I can sometimes occassionally often be a last-minute person, so I find myself in the mile long line on the first day of classes. You think I would learn my lesson by now… Anyways, another cool thing about buying new is that you can either choose to get a physical copy of the textbook or an eBook - for all of you tech savvy Kindle, Nook, or general tablet users. I personally prefer the feel of a crisp page turning between my fingers, but we can just agree to disagree on this one.
2. Buy used: This option is often really helpful if you’re looking to save a few bucks but still want the added benefit of owning your own textbooks. You can find used books at the bookstore, on Amazon, and on many other textbook sites. Along with buying new, it is nice to own the textbook because occasionally you can sell them back to the bookstore at the end of the semester to make a few extra bucks.
3. Rent: If you’re looking for something more affordable and know that you’ll be able to keep the textbook in fairly decent condition, renting is a great option. You have possession of the textbook for the semester and return if when you’re finished. You can rent from the bookstore, as well as from many websites including Chegg, Textbook Rentals, and other rental outlets. The only downside of this is if you spill water or walk in the rain with your textbook (not that I have done either of these things… C’mon guys don’t judge), you often have to either pay for the textbook entirely or pay an additional fee.
4. Textbook share: If you have a friend in your class or have a friend taking the same class, but a different section, you can pair up and split the costs of either renting or buying the textbook. This is nice because it halves the amount spent, but can be tricky with coordinating schedules with a split-custody textbook.
5. Phone a friend: Sometimes, if you have super nice friends who have already taken the class, you can ask around and borrow the textbook for the semester. Wow! When this works out, it is a dream come true.
6. Library: If you don’t think that it is absolutely necessary to purchase the textbook, sometimes the library will have copies available if you need to pop in and use one for a homework assignment or two.
I personally like having my own physical copy because, like this baby here, I believe in book osmosis and sleep with my textbook under my pillow before exams.
So there you have it. Just a few of my favorite options for dealing with the pre-semester-stressor of textbooks. And with that, I am going to go look up what textbooks I need to begin my springtime endeavors. If you have any additional ways of obtaining textbooks, feel free to comment! I would love to hear any new ideas :D