This fall, more than 30,000 MU students are hitting the books, or at least the ones they can afford. A single book can cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the prices of lab kits and other school supplies. Students are learning the hard way that paying tuition is only the first hurdle in adjusting economically to campus life.
Columbia has several reputable textbook buy-back stores that offer used textbooks at prices that are often cheaper than those at the University Bookstore, which bases its prices off publishers' prices.
The TextbookGame, formerly named Beat the Bookstore, is one place to find current textbooks at cheaper prices. The store has been active in Columbia for the past several years. Since the store does business with colleges and universities all over the country, there are very few used books they refuse to buy.
Two MU students decided to open their own textbook trading business, 1UP Books. Located by The Flying Cow on University Avenue during book buying and selling times — typically the first and last few weeks of each semester — 1UP Books is one option for students to try to get the best bang for their buck.
For the ultra-thrifty student, there is no better place to find a book than a library. Libraries offer a wide variety of textbooks and digital books for students free of charge. Students should closely examine differences between older and newer editions of textbooks and what vital changes have been made. In some cases, a library’s older edition may suffice for a class.
Strapped-for-cash students should also consider renting any textbooks they feel will not assist them in their future profession. Many online bookstores offer the option of renting, which usually cuts prices at least in half. By renting books, students can avoid the depressing ritual of selling back a $120 book for $16 in the spring.
What other ideas do you have for students to save money on books?