By Amy Moore
Your first day of a new module usually starts off great, you sit down excited to discover what it will entail, and then suddenly the lecturer drops a bombshell using two simple words. Core Book. You run to the campus bookstore to discover that this ‘essential item’ needed to pass the module will put you £300 in debt. For just one book! Academic books are getting more and more expensive, and publishers introduce new editions of the same book, almost every year, to stop the circulation of second hand books. These books are also soaring in price year after year, due to the fact that less books are being bought! Students are finally discovering new ways to save the fortune spent on a book you barely get a chance to read. Here are 5 ways you can try for yourself.
1. Discover the hidden depths of your library
The college library will most likely hold all core books needed for each module. This is great, if you’re a sprinter! The problem is that the stock of core books held in the library is often quite minuscule. So unless you get there first, chances are they’ll already be all gone. However, there are alternative options that the library can provide. Your University library website often gives students access to e-books available anytime. So check to see if they supply any books you need. Also, if the library doesn't have a book, it can often be requested to be sent over from another library. So be sure to check out these options before forking out a fortune.
2. Utilising E-book websites
There are now plenty of E-Book websites available to everyone free of charge or for a small fee. Websites such as Boundless (https://www.boundless.com/textbooks/) and Openstax College (https://openstaxcollege.org/students) provide multiple widely used University e-books cheaply, so students can save their money for those countless rainy days we seem to have!
3. Browse the net
In this day and age, all the information you need for successful studying is bound to be already on the internet. It may not always be possible to find the exact book required for the course, however you can be sure all the content covered in the book is accessible for free, somewhere on the internet. Online tutorial websites such as Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/) or Alison (http://alison.com/) provide educational videos with enormous amounts of content, some of which is most likely what you are learning about.
4. Go Second Hand
If your module Lecturer isn't strict on getting the latest edition of a textbook, there are plenty of ways on getting yourself an older copy for a fraction of the price. Some editions of textbooks may have stayed the same for a few years, in which case you’re in an even better position. Be sure to check buy and sell websites such as eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/) and Gumtree (http://www.gumtree.com/), as you could pick up a bargain from someone looking to get rid of their textbooks. Students should also check and see if their University have a second hand book swap or a facility that sells second hand books. If they don’t, email the class year above, stating what you’re looking for, as you can be sure someone will be delighted to get rid of their unused textbooks.
5. Sell your own books
If you are finished with textbooks from modules you have completed, be sure to sell them so you can use the money to buy new books. Keep this system going whilst progressing through Uni so when you are finished your final year, the books should have all paid for themselves over the years!