Textbooks – Hate ’em, but sometimes, you just can’t live without ’em.

Though we cannot always escape the fate of buying expensive textbooks, there are always ways you can save some money! With tuition prices rising every year, why should we spend so much money on textbooks? Especially if you might not even use it for the whole semester. Here are three articles that might just help you reduce the prices you pay for those “required”, expensive textbooks.


Are Textbooks Worth the Pricey Cost? 

By: Rick Jackson

Summary: At Wesley College, there was an interview with the Wesley Bookstore about the prices of textbooks. Bookstore manager, Kris McGlothlin, acknowledge how it’s not the bookstore’s fault for the high prices, but rather it’s the publishers because they are the ones trying to make a profit. Though, you can buy textbooks at a cheaper price by either buying an eBook or another site, it won’t always mean you’ll end up using it. A legal studies major, Sherleen Sabin, stated how she took a psychology course and only used it a couple of times.

Why this source is important: This article acknowledges that textbooks are pricey and, sometimes, even useless. And it’s also the fact that it was an article at a college with interviews from a student and a bookstore manager that realized that textbooks aren’t always priced fairly.

What to do with the source: So, why spend even more money on textbooks that aren’t priced fairly? Why waste money on a book you will probably only open a few times during the semester? If you really want/need a textbook, check out Chegg, otherwise, we should think before we buy.

Read the full article here.

Does Renting Textbooks Make Sense?

By: Book.ly

Summary: Have you ever wonder if renting textbooks are better than buying them? Well, an article done by Book.ly explains both the pros and cons of renting a textbook. Here are their reasons:Image

Furthermore, financially, the best way to acquire textbooks is through buying used and reselling it back because it would save approximately $54.15; however, you are also taking a chance that no one would want to buy your used textbook since newer editions come out.

Why this source is important: This source helps you weigh the pros and cons of renting or buying textbooks. Not only does it show you the pros and cons, it also compares the prices if you were to buy it new, buy it used, buy it used then reselling it, and renting and returning.

What to do with the source: If you ever need some help with deciding whether to buy or rent, this is the one of the best advice for you! It’s like second hand help for you if you are on a tight budget!

Read the full article here.

If You’re Buying Textbooks This Week, Get Educated, Not Schooled

By: Eliza Brooke

Summary: While textbooks are expensive, there are tons of different ways to get them for cheaper. This article lists the ways you would be able to buy your textbook for a cheaper price. Here are the ways:

  • Boundless: “a free service that aligns its e-textbooks with other popular texts by chapter across 20 subjects.”
  • Chegg: Where you can buy new/used, rent a hard copy or rent an e-text for up to 60 days.
  • Google Play Store: e-text rentals.
  • Borrowing from an old classmate or friend.
  • Borrowing from the library.

Why this source is important: This article provides useful information about different ways to buy textbooks, yet still saving money. It gives you reasons why you should use a certain site and it has different sites for different needs and cost; from being free to paying for a textbook, this article has everything you need!

What to do with the source: When you are in doubt and overwhelm with the beginning of the semester, come here to find the best places and ways to buy your textbooks. You might even not have to pay anything for them! Which would end up saving you lots of money on top of that student loan debt you might have!

Read the full article here.

Overall: The articles provided useful sources containing different methods of buying textbooks for a cheaper price. With prices escalating and a new edition coming out every year, these three articles give you exactly what you need to know if you are tight on cash or just don’t want to spend too much money on textbooks. I hope you all have fun finding the best bargain!



To eBook, or not to eBook: that is the question.

Have you ever wonder why eBooks are so expensive? I mean, they are digit and available on the Internet, so why do they have to cost so much?

An article by Michael Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World – a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller – answered the question: Why are eBooks so expensive?

Michael Hyatt broke it down into three reasons for why they are so expensive. They are the following:

  1. Adjusted retail price. The price you pay is roughly half of how much it would cost you to buy the physical book. In addition, the way retailers that buy the eBook is going to shift to “the agency model” – the publisher sets the price and the “agent” (retailer/buyer) would get a “commission” from the publisher.
    1. For example, if an eBook is being sold for $10, then the publisher will gain a net of approximately 70%; thus, they will gain a net profit of $7.
  2. Cost of physical manufacturing and distribution don’t cost that much. Yup, you heard it, the cost of physically making the book doesn’t cost that much. In fact, it only make up around 12% of the total retail price of the book.

So, why are eBooks so darn expensive? It’s not like they cost much to begin with. Well, because of the third reason:

  1. The three new costs:
    1. Digital preparation. The books must be scanned or manually keyed in, and then they have to be formatted to work on all the various eReaders. If you think that’s a lot of work, the last step of preparation is collecting and adding all relevant metadata so customers could easily search for them.
    2. Quality assurance. The time-consuming process quality assurance a.k.a. “QAing”. Each page has to be rendered correctly.
    3. Digital distribution. The files have to be distributed to the various eRetaliers. With more eRetailers than Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple, they each also have their own individual protocol to how to upload the book.

So, the new costs are initially the reasons why eBooks cost so much. The process of making it and distributing it is time consuming and costly. You might believe that you’re getting a great deal by buying the eBook but, when you think about it, you’re not. You’re basically paying the same for the hard, physical copy of the book.

We already pay so much for college. Why do we have to pay more for eBooks? The books that would be cheaper due to the fact that they’re not the physical copy and they are easily accessible on the web. So, next time you need to buy a textbook, ask yourself this: Is the price I’m paying worth it?

If you would like to read the article published by Michael Hyatt, click here.

If you would like to learn more about “the agency model”, click here.



Picture for thought.


Jessica Guan

Hi, my name is Jessica Guan and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park. I intend on majoring in Public Relations and hoping to work for the fashion industry when I grow up. I love spending time with my family and my dog on my free time. I also love keeping up with all the new trends in the fashion world.


So, why am I advocating for an end to stop expensive textbooks? 

Because after three long years of college, I believe buying all the “required” textbooks are useless. Mainly because, from my years of experiences, my professor goes through everything the textbook says in class. Instead of wasting hundreds on textbooks, I believe the  money could go towards something more beneficial like a club you would like to join but is too expensive or an event you would like to attend. So, hopefully, after this blog, it will open up your eyes and see things the way I do.