Ask Ally


Ally G.

“I just signed up for classes, and now I have to start thinking about getting books…again… I don’t have a lot of money, how can I save money on college books?” – The Broke Bookworm

The first time I went to the college bookstore to buy textbooks, was also the first time I have ever gasped after looking at a receipt. It reminded me of buying a water bottle at 100% markup in the airport “convenience” store. That’s why it’s important to always plan ahead and find the textbooks at an affordable price which is not exactly affordable when you’re on a student’s budget.

Here are options for you to find the best deal on your hunt for the most inexpensive textbooks for the spring semester.

Here is my own process: Order from Amazon Prime (students can get a free 6 month trial, cancel anytime), and even though the books are used and don’t look new, they are a fraction of the cost of a new book.

At the end of the course, I send the book back, and that’s that. If you do borrow or rent your books,
whatever you do, make sure it is not damaged when you return it.

It would be a real shame to go through all of the effort and then end up having to spend more money. In the cases where the textbook itself for some reason cannot be rented, try an ebook! It is convenient and easy to “highlight” certain parts of the text and even attach notes to them. Don’t have a tablet? You can read an ebook on a computer as well (Kindle PC app).

Looking into other methods of saving money on textbooks? The Consumer Reports article, “How to
Save Money on College Textbooks,” by Beth Braverman is a great source.

“Many school and department libraries keep copies of popular textbooks on hand,” Braverman reveals, “While they’re usually not available to check out for an entire semester, you are able to use the books in the library and make copies of any important pages and chapters.”

Braverman’s tip is helpful and intriguing, so check out the college library for yourself and ask the librarian about this option before resorting to renting/buying your textbooks!

Check out this website called Chegg ( From everything that I have
read, Chegg is considered reputable and has received excellent reviews and recommendations.

Just type the books you are looking for in the Chegg search engine, and voilá, you’ll be able to purchase your books at a discounted price. There may be different options available (rent the physical textbook or ebook).

With multiple payment plan options, you have the option to pay a portion of the book in increments. There are also monthly payment options. On Chegg, you can also choose to buy a used book, or a new one.

For the avid textbook highlighters of LC State, if you rent the textbook from Chegg, you are able to highlight! I thought that was a cool bonus.

If you have any tips on finding affordable textbooks that you would like to share, send an email to:
[email protected]