Buy textbooks with a smile

Amanda Lowder

Textbooks can get expensive for many students. Fortunately, there are affordable options available (Scott Stevens / The Signpost)
Textbooks can get expensive for many students. Fortunately, there are affordable options available to every student (Scott Stevens / The Signpost)

With each new semester, the list of textbooks either grows or dwindles for students. But no matter how many books are on the list, it is surprising to see how expensive they get. From accounting, to medical anatomy, to science, these thick textbooks can hurt the wallets of both students and parents. But recently, technology and online shopping have made buying textbooks easier for both new and returning Weber State University students. Here are four ways that students can save on textbooks and keep smiles on their faces.

The first option is renting from the WSU bookstore. For the past few years, students have been able to compare prices of buying versus renting a textbook. “It’s a huge money saver,” Jeanette Carrington, WSU student, says. “I saw a thirty-dollar difference for one my books just by renting.” They can also return the book back to the bookstore by a certain date with no worries.

While there is no compensation for returning the book by the assigned date, the savings are still worth the rental. “Professors make sure that students can rent the textbooks,” Carrington said.

The second option is Amazon. The website has great perks for students. Amazon offers textbook rental, Student Prime and the great low prices they’re known for. “I use it for all my books,” Ellis Miller, a student, says. “I like the cost and ease of ordering online. I wish I had known about Amazon earlier in college. I would’ve spent less money.”

Some textbooks might not ship to all 50 states, so students will need to double check if the books they need can be shipped to them. But whether buying it used or renting from Amazon themselves, savings can always be found.

With Student Prime, students can get the benefits of Amazon Prime for half the price of the regular Prime. Starting at $49, students can have six months of free shipping at a low price. They can also have access to other services through Prime. After the six months is up, they can renew Student Prime and keep it for a year at the same $49 price.

The final option is also at the WSU bookstore. Recently, the bookstores started comparing prices for several online sites to help students save even more. “We are students too. We understand what students are needing,” Mikenzey Wiberg, information desk receptionist, says. “People can see the best deal and match it with us.”

But before money is spent on textbooks, students need to make sure that their book list is exactly what they need. “Ask the professor what’s required,” Miller continues. “I have ordered books before, and they ended up being the wrong one.” Wiberg agrees, “Do not open your books until its necessary,” she says. “It makes the return process easier.”

Once students have their book list, buying books can be a breeze. With the bookstore offering to compare prices with online websites, students can buy their school essentials but still have some cash left over.