If you want to get the most out of school textbooks, you need to make sure of a few things. Will you need it, how should you buy it, and what should you do at the end of the semester? All of these questions can seem a bit overwhelming when you are starting off your semester, but here are some of my tips for making you get the most out of your school textbooks, without breaking your small college bank account.
1 Talk to Your Professor before Buying Them
Before you get the most out of school textbooks, you need to know if you are going to actually need them. All too many times I have spent upwards of $500 on textbooks before the semester, only to find out that the teacher will never be using them. Go to class on the first day of the semester and find out what your professor has to say about the book. Some teachers will say that you should read it often and will be tested on it. But others will say that you will never have to open it and it is strictly optional. By doing this, you could save yourself a lot of money and time.
2 Rent Them
One of the best ways to get the most out of school textbooks is to rent them. Almost every college has a place where you can rent textbooks for almost half the price as buying them. And if you are like me and don’t highlight your textbooks, there is really no need to own it forever. Renting your textbooks is a great alternative to buying them forever. Just make sure you remember to return them at the end of the semester.
3 Buy Them Used
If you would prefer to own your textbooks, another great way to get the most out of school textbooks is to buy them used. Sure, they may not come in brand new shape, but most used textbooks are pretty good quality with a good portion off the original price. If you like to write all over your textbooks or don’t want to have to remember to return them, used textbooks are a great cheaper alternative.
4 Read Them on Time
What is the point of spending so much money on textbooks if you never read them? Check out your class syllabus and make sure you outline when each chapter is supposed to be read. And read them before the class they are due! They will introduce you to material that you will be covering in class and even supplement class material with more information. It is the best possible way to prepare for your exams and it will make sure that you did not waste a ton of money on a book you will never open.
5 Take Notes
It is so much more helpful to actually take notes on what you are reading than just read it. Not only does it make sure that you comprehend the material, but it also gives you a quick guide to study from later. It doesn’t matter if you highlight or take notes in a separate notebook. Just make sure that you are doing something to condense the information and giving yourself an opportunity to study from your book in the future.
6 Share with a Friend
If you still think textbooks can be quite pricey, which they can be, try sharing with a friend in your class. It will cut the cost of the book in half and it gives you a study buddy. Schedule half the week for you to have the book and half the week for your friend to have the book. That way, you will have more pressure to read the book on time. And at the end of each week, you and your friend can get together and compare notes on the chapters for the week. You will absolutely read the book and then you have a friend to get a new perspective on the material and answer any of your questions.
7 Get the E-Book
If you are tech savvy and always have your computer with you, look into getting the E-book version of your textbook. It will probably be a good deal cheaper than the real book and you can always have it with you. If you are in class and your teacher references something from the book, you can whip it up on your laptop right there. And you never have to worry about lugging around all of your heavy textbooks because they will always be on your computer. E-books do have their downside because you cannot sell them back at the end of the semester, and some people enjoy having a real book to hold. But if you enjoy reading off of a computer or tablet, an E-Book is a great way to get the most out of school textbooks.
8 Sell Them Back
If you don’t sell back your books at the end of the semester, you will end up with a pile of textbooks that you will never open again and will probably just take up space in your tiny dorm room. So sell them back and make some cash. You probably won’t get back anything close to what you paid for the textbooks, but is still a good option. It gives you a small boost of cash to use for winter or summer break, and you don’t have to hold onto a bunch of textbooks forever. Another option would be to find a friend who is taking the same class as you in the upcoming semester. You can sell the book to them at a fraction of what the bookstore sells them, and you would still probably make more than selling them back to a buyback store.
Textbooks can be such a pricey part of college. But most of the time they are a very good investment in your college career and they will benefit you in the long run. But there are certain things you should do to make the most of them. What did you think about these ways to get the most out of school textbooks? Do you have any ideas on how to get the most out of school textbooks? Do you have any textbook related stories?