Sunday, January 22, 2012

Doing Books Cheap.

Last semester, I didn't know what to do for books. I was stressed enough about starting college and only having been back in the states for less than a month; I didn't want to think about what books I needed, how much they should cost me or when I should get them. As a result, I (a.k.a my dad) ended up dropping a few hundred. Now that I'm a big and important second-semester Freshman, I'm much older and wiser, and was able to do my books this Spring for; wait for it...


You read that right. Granted, the books required for me this semester are much cheaper than last semester. But, here are a few useful tips that my friends and I used to save some dough.

1. Listen to your older siblings.
If you have an older sibling in college and they try to give you advice on how to buy books, listen to them. They know what it's like to be poor/stuck with unwanted books and will probably know the most reliable sites online to buy and rent books from. My sister told me first semester that I should rent from Chegg, and had I done that, my wallet (my dad's wallet) would have been a little less empty last August.

2. Rent.
Going off the last one; RENT. Especially for classes you know you're not going to continue with. For example, I rented my religion book because this semester is probably the only time I'll take a Religion class; whereas I bought my Calc book because I know I'm going to take more Calc in the future. It can cut the price significantly, and will get you more money than if you buy it and try to sell it back.

3. Buy used.
Used books are great, especially because sometimes they're barely used. I have a collection of E. B. White essays for my freshman seminar class that was "used", but it looks brand-new (seriously, I don't think it's ever been opened). The SMC bookstore is great, because if you order through them they'll get you as many used books as possible before selling you new books (plus they always have some classes with books for rent).

4. Borrow from / lend to friends.
This last one saved me a ton on my French books this semester. I was in French 101 in the fall, but I decided to skip 102 so I'm in 203 right now, and had to get new books (101 and 102 have the same books, 203 and 204 have the same books). My friend Bean took 204 last semester, so she had the textbook and had only used the second half of the workbook. My friend Harper is in 102 this semester, so I had that textbook and had only used the first part of the textbook. The result was a mega book swap in which we are saving green and saving trees by sharing workbooks! I also lent my Calc book to my friend August, who needs it for Calc II this semester, which I'm not taking until next year.

If you have any more tips, comment below, and if you're looking for more tips, look for comments below. Otherwise, feel free to shoot me a question on any of these fine social media sites (facebook, twitter, formspring) or send me an email (!

Thanks for reading!

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