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To Buy or Rent books, That is the Question.
One of the first things students need to accomplish to stay on top of things is getting all the right books. They are getting settled into their dorm, classes start the first week of school. The first week can be overwhelming for many, but as long as students stay organized, they will be just fine! Unlike high school, not every college class requires a textbook. I have found that most of the time throughout college, you will not need to open a textbook once; however, if a textbook is needed for a course, the professor will typically require it so the students know it is necessary.
Books today come in many different forms and likewise can be purchased in a variety of ways – including rentals. Find specific textbooks for Indiana University classes. Deciding which is the most a) cost-efficient and b) the easiest way for students to use it are important factors. Textbooks can cost as much as a few hundred dollars each. Some students may appreciate being able to mark up and physically have a textbook, while others may be satisfied with an online edition. Sometimes new books are required, because of an online code that comes with the book.
HaveUHeard that IU has partnered with book publishers that have helped IU eTexts become a cost-effective alternative? IU also has the Open Educational Resources initiative designed to support and incentivize faculty adoption of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER) in place of traditional and expensive textbooks.
If professors require textbooks, I have found that the easiest and most proficient thing is an online book. These days most professors only have online textbooks. Typically, online textbooks have a variety of features such as highlighting, note-taking, and online quizzes which can be extremely helpful. You can also easily find specific information in textbooks by clicking the keys, command, f, and then searching for a specific word. I personally would rather find a topic in under 30 seconds than spend countless minutes scrolling through a textbook.
Websites that can be used for renting or buying books – Happy Shopping!
- IU Bookstore: They typically have pretty decent priced books; renting textbooks here actually saves students about 50% when compared to a new textbook. The bookstore even gives students the option to sell back old textbooks they do not want anymore. For more information regarding selling back your textbooks.
- Chegg: You can read the online version of your textbook for free while Chegg ships you the hard copy of your book. They offer savings of up to 90% on textbooks. Rent or buy and get 7-day instant access to the e-book or savings up to $500 on textbook rental or purchase. There’s access to homework help, including step-by-step solutions to textbook problems, and 24/7 online tutoring services (free for up to 30 minutes and rates as low as .50 cents per minute after that). There’s a 21-day satisfaction guarantee, and return shipping is free. Aside from books, you can explore career profiles and internship opportunities to immediately apply.
- Amazon Prime: Students can use their IU email to get six months of Amazon Prime for free (free 2-day shipping) and then only $50 per year. You can choose your exact rental length and pay only for that specific time. A preview feature allows you to “look inside” some books to see a sample of the text. Several e-textbooks are available for a free seven-day trial. While reading your book, the X-Ray feature (available on the Kindle Fire HD and free Kindle app) lets you look up words in a dictionary, translate text and get relevant information from sources like Wikipedia and YouTube. There’s the option to trade in old textbooks for Amazon gift cards.
- Half.com: The site is an eBay subsidiary offering a crazy amount of cheap media and textbooks. Your Half.com account links directly to your eBay account. You can pay for purchases easily and securely with PayPal. Return shipping is free.
- BarnesandNoble.com – You can pick from 60, 90, or 130 days for your rental and you can extend it if needed. You will see the shipping cost after adding the book to your shopping bag and returning your rental is free.
- VitalSource – For digital textbooks, you can highlight text, take notes, and search for specific content online.
- Textbooks.com– offers free shipping on $25 orders and 30-day returns. Guarantees 50% back at the end of the semester if you purchase a guaranteed cashback book.
- Bookbyte – Search for your textbook and then review rental term options. You can rent the book for 30, 60, 90, or 150 days, priced accordingly. Bookbyte offers free shipping for receiving and returning the book for orders of $49 and up.
- eCampus – offers rentals for three different rental options: short-term (summer session), quarter, and semester. Make sure to sign up for their e-rewards program. They offer free shipping for orders over $35 and they offer discounts just by texting them a code.
- Textbook Underground – Whether renting or buying, they offer a 21-day guarantee so if you drop a class, you can return for a full refund. Rental periods are customizable so if you need it just for a test, you can choose that too.
Now, when it comes time to sell back any books that were purchased, consider the website Sellbackbooks.com. It is somewhat like how CarMax works- simply put in the ISBN number and they will give you a quote on what they are paying. The quote is valid for 7 days.
Let the studying begin!
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