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Textbooks 101: New vs. used, renting vs. buying

Bookstore in the Bone

The Barnes & Noble-Illinois State University Bookstore in the Bone Student Center.

Ah, textbooks. Something we are required to invest in every semester.

There are several options when it comes to getting your textbooks, so here is my breakdown of each option:

New: New is nice, but not necessary. Unless your professor requires you to purchase the textbook new, I personally don’t see why you would even bother spending the money on one. New textbooks tend to be ridiculously expensive.

Used: If purchasing your textbooks is the way you want to go (rather than renting), I would highly recommend purchasing used textbooks. My experience with used books is that they always appear as if no one has even used them before. Purchasing used over new books can save a lot of money.

Buying: My freshman year I bought my textbooks, but then I realized that it was pointless. I spent all this money at the beginning of the semester on used textbooks. When I tried to sell them back at the end of the semester, I made very little of my money back. I wish someone had told me to just rent my books.

Renting: Just in case it hasn’t been clear, I highly recommend renting your textbooks. It’s typically the cheapest option to go with, and you can still write in the books. You’re just held responsible for paying for the textbook if you happen to lose it.

There are many places you can get your textbooks from, including the official Barnes & Noble-Illinois State University Bookstore in the Bone Student Center. The Alamo II is where I get my books from, but you can also check out websites like Amazon or Chegg.

#BirdofMouth blogger Cassidy Obis is a senior public relations major at Illinois State. Read more posts from Cassidy.