Textbooks: Back to School

Buying textbooks doesn't always have to burn a hole in your wallet. Use these tips to get the best bang for your buck. After all, every dollar counts!

Choose the best fit for your textbooks.

Back to school illustration
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Now that school is starting up, there is one thing on many students’ minds: buying textbooks. However, no one wants to dish out hundreds of dollars on books, especially ones that some professors only require you to use once or twice a semester. Here are some great options for good-quality textbooks at low prices:

  • Ordering online. There are countless options to get textbooks at low prices online. Some of the most-often used websites are Chegg, Amazon and Book Renter. Each of these websites have varying prices, some higher and some lower, but each of them has their own unique quality that makes them great. If you want a special treat and decent prices, definitely check out Chegg. Their books are heavily discounted, and they’ve been known for throwing treats in their packages, such as energy drinks or packs of gum. When Chegg’s prices aren’t low enough, Book Renter usually comes through, or can lead you to another site. Finally, Amazon’s prices are usually equal to or just a few dollars more than Chegg and Book Renter. The perk that Amazon can offer is Amazon Prime. For just $45 a month, student can sign up for Prime and receive free two-day shipping on most items. Rent or buy books from Amazon and you’ll receive them in time for class, faster than any other site.
  • In-store options. Don’t think you have to rely on renting websites to get your textbooks! Big name stores such as Barnes and Noble also rent and sell textbooks. Some larger stores even have options right in-store, so you don’t have to put in order and pay for shipping. Take advantage of your local chain stores, and contact them to see what they have in stock. The Clifton Commons down Route 3 is home to a huge, two-story Barnes and Noble and also hosts a Starbucks inside, so make a day out of your trip!
  • University book stores. Although most prices are higher here, your own university’s book store is always a great option simply for how it’s organized, and the ease at which you can obtain your textbooks. Montclair State University’s own store is organized by class. Instead of searching for the title, author or ISBN, simply search by your course and professor’s name and all books required for that class are listed in a neat pile. Grab your books then and there, along with any other school supplies you may need. The book stores tend to be more expensive, but are much more organized and feature items you may need that aren’t available through other stores.

The best way to determine where you should go for your textbooks this year varies depending on what your needs are, from cheapest finds to ease of access or even how quickly you can get it. Make sure you shop around before purchasing your books and decide what’s best for your needs.

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