Surviving Saint Leo

At the start of every semester, students dread going into the bookstore to buy, what is sure to be, over  $300 in books (some may even pay upwards of $400).

Students, however, have several viable options for buying text books, and while the bookstore on campus does provide used textbooks for students to rent, most students still rack up a hefty bill in books.While most consider www.Amazon.com to be the best place to buy anything cheap, it is also a great way to buy and sell back textbooks with their online textbook Trade-In program. Amazon offers students a new way to buy cheap, affordable, new and used books that allow students to also sell back the same books at the end of their semester. Every book traded back to Amazon, goes directly onto an Amazon gift card with a balance that will never expire and can be used on the whole site. An Amazon Trade-In account is easy to use and can be a relatively fast way to receive your textbooks as well. While used books from the site can come from outside sources, some used books held by Amazon come with a guaranteed date of shipment and tracking ability.  Amazon is also another great site to use for those who have a Kindle, IPad, or any other portable digital e-reader.

A great source of textbook accessibility that won’t break your bank is Google Books. The site has a wide variety of books available, as well as source material. However, be forewarned that Google Books may not carry certain editions of texts. However, you may ask your professor and find out if the version on Google Books is sufficient enough for use in class. The site is easy to maneuver and books that can be found on the site, can easily be stored on your regular Google account under the My Library tab.

Another good source for finding cheap books is Chegg.com, which claims that students can save 50-85% on the cost of buying books. The site has all formats and is easy to navigate in, as well as download and store any textbooks that are digitally bought.  The site allows you to browse by course subject, as well as formatting type. However, what is especially interesting, is that the site has a eTextbook reader that allows you to switch from looking at your textbook online from a home computer to looking at it on your e-reader at school, allowing for better mobility and light weight carrying of textbooks. The site also features a sellback program, but I have found that the site is a little steep on forking over the dough for sell back textbooks.

When buying online isn’t an option, or you have a roommate who is taking the same general education courses, splitting the cost of book is cheaper. You may even be able to find an upper classmen who is selling their books or still has one that you can borrow for your course. Any option that you choose, may leave you with more green in your wallet than you thought was possible. Before buying books, try and find the best possible way that works for you, but always check with your professor first before buying any type of book. Most professors understand  and have been in your position before, but in some classes, you may need a new book (Saint Leo University specific courses) or even the most recent edition.  Whichever source you prefer, you are sure to have some money leftover for fun in the sun.

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