It’s the week the semester starts, you’re eager and motivated to work extra hard in all your classes. You log onto Gulfline and look at which textbooks you need, and you see those hefty textbook fees. If you’re anything like me, you start to freak out a little.
According to the National Association of College Stores, students in a 4-year public college will spend on average over $650 a year on textbooks- and this average price is only going to increase.
Before you head over to the FGCU library and spend your whole summer savings money on your textbooks, there are a couple things you should do.
Just because the syllabus says the textbook is required, does not necessarily mean it actually is. Go to class the first day and see if you actually need the textbook. My first year at FGCU I made the mistake of buying all my books before classes started and I didn’t use half of them. Professors aren’t going to make it required to have your textbook on the first day of class, so it is best to see first if you need it to do well in the course.
Compare your prices. Yes, the FGCU library is a great place to go pick up a textbook if you don’t have any time to spare or if you are limited on transportation, but it also tends to be the most expensive option.
My go-to place for textbooks is Amazon Prime. I find that these textbooks are cheapest, and you can get them shipped to you in two days if you already pay for Amazon Prime. Chegg.com also has similar pricing to Amazon and it usually has deals for free shipping.
“Personally, I use outside sources like Amazon or Chegg because the bookstore is way too expensive,” FGCU junior Amanda Kent said. “Sometimes I even buy it from my friends if they have taken the class before.”
If you’d rather pick up your books in person, check out Textbook Brokers about five minutes from campus. I find that their prices are cheaper than the library’s but slightly more expensive than sites like Amazon or Chegg.
As a last resort, see if the textbook you need is available for an online download. Sometimes this is less expensive than getting the physical textbook.
When you are getting ready to buy your textbooks, make sure you scope out all your options so you can get them for the best deal.