Saving money on textbooks leads students to the Web

By Christine Leonards

As the countdown toward the start of the new academic year closes in, bookstores at the University have been inundated with students as they make a last minute dash to buy their textbooks before classes begin Wednesday. But others are turning to online textbook stores in the hopes to save some costs.

Textbooks are a must-have accessory for most college courses and can sometimes get expensive. Textbook costs can be high and can sometimes total hundreds of dollars for a full semester workload. Many students try to reduce costs by buying their textbooks used or shopping online.

According to Jill Franke, freshman in engineering, her textbooks for the fall semester will total almost $500.

“That’s a lot of money,” Franke said. “I’ll always try to buy used textbooks, if I can.”

While some students buy their textbooks the traditional way through a bookstore, other students are finding that buying their textbooks online can be a beneficial alternative.

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    According to Kristin Wakeland, junior in LAS, buying textbooks online is a better way to save money.

    “It’s cheaper,” said Wakeland who was introduced to online-buying by her boyfriend. “I’ve definitely saved a lot of money.”

    Wakeland said she has never had any problems with buying textbooks online and likes the savings and the convenience of having the books mailed.

    There are many Web sites that specialize in new and used textbooks. Students can choose to buy from a company like or directly from other students who are selling.

    “I usually buy from or,” said Wakeland. “The only time I won’t buy online is if I think the savings aren’t worth it.”

    Despite the promise of savings Eryn Finke, freshman in engineering, remains apprehensive. Finke says she prefers to buy her textbooks from a bookstore. “It’s just easier to walk into a store and pick them up.”

    Franke also prefers to buy her books from a bookstore. “I pre-ordered my books which means I can get my first choice. It’s easy.”

    Finke says she’s also concerned with the rules of online buying. “I’m worried what will happen if I change a course. I’m not sure if I’d be able to cancel an order.”

    Bookstores on campus have a deadline for refunding or exchanging purchases on new and used textbooks should students decide to change courses.

    However, Wakeland remains a fan of online-buying saying the savings are worth it and if you know what you’re doing there is no problem.

    “I’d definitely recommend buying textbooks online,” Wakeland said.