6 Ways to Green Your Textbooks (and Your Wallet)

There are always so many noises you hear around campus at the beginning of the year. The buzz of people coming back to campus and the groan of students when they hear about how much their new books are going to cost. Each semester seems like it will begin with the same terrifyingly long receipt for new books. But there are a lot of options that are sustainable for you and for your wallet!

Old books

 1. Books Age Well

Don’t buy the latest edition. Ask your professor if you can get by with buying an older copy of the book. These are often a lot cheaper than the latest editions. Older copies of textbooks can be found in bookstores, libraries, or online. Upperclassmen in your major can also be a great resource for older books.

textbooks2. Buy a Well-Loved Book!

Buy a book that has been pre-owned. These might have a few marks and a little bit of wear and tear, but are still perfectly usable and much cheaper! You can find these at the campus bookstore and even order them online! Be sure to preference “Used” – or even consider renting a book for a semester!


3. Swap with a Friend

Do you know a friend who took a class you are taking this semester? Was a course recommendation you gave so glowing a pal just had to take a course you were in? Swap books! This is a great way to reuse books. You won’t have to deal with the worries about shipping like if you decided to resell the book online and you can get something back you will actually use!

generic-library4. Try the Library

The library has many of the textbooks you need for class. Look on the library’s website to see if your textbook is there. The reservations are limited, so think ahead of time and don’t cram right before the exam in case the book is checked out. If your textbook is in the library and you plan, you might not even have to buy your book!


5. Look at an Electronic Book

Electronic books are often cheaper and use less resources than traditional books. Plus your backpack will be a lot lighter! Many textbooks are now offered as e-books through the bookstore. You can see if the textbooks you need are offered as an e-book on their website.

professor6. Ask your Professor

Use your professor as a resource. Some professors are willing to loan out their copies of the course textbooks. Other professors might inform you that you might not really need the textbook. Some professor will tell you that you can’t get by without the textbook, but you’ll never know until you ask!


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