Save 800 percent on textbooks

Everybody needs to be cut a break from time to time, right? Especially at a time like this, when students have had to trade in all the splendors of summer for yet another semester of classes, tests, term papers and long nights of cramming.

And as if it’s not tough enough making lifestyle changes to accommodate academics, your bank account also drains to nothing-or you have to go into debt-thanks to tuition and textbooks crushing any hopes of a little spare cash for the upcoming months.

But as it is with most things, the brutalities of these side effects are up to you.

Sure, you can’t do much about the classes, tests and term papers-and there’s not always a way to get around tuition. But you should at least attack the textbook burden.

A couple of weeks ago I strolled into University Bookstore to find out how much I’d need to spend on my textbooks. Not surprisingly, I realized that if I bought all of my books at the bookstore, I’d probably have to sell my sweet ’95 Sentra or offer an arm and a leg to the store clerk.

This semester, I’m taking six classes that will require a total of six books (yeah, I lucked out). As I’m sure many of you know or have found out, six books will tend to cost you close to $500. If you’re lucky.

It’s outrageous. The price of textbooks is obscene, but that’s not news. We all know that. We all hate it. In fact, a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found textbook costs rose 186 percent between 1986 and 2004.

But even though that’s the case, technology has freed us from having to pay those steep prices.

When I was in the bookstore I wasn’t ever actually considering buying my books there, instead I was just jotting down all of the ISBN numbers I needed.

You see, like many other students across the world, I buy my books online.

There are several places to do it-whether it’s,, or several others-what really matters is that you can save doing it.

Take me, for example. The total cost of all of my textbooks at the bookstore would have cost me $381.75, assuming I could have bought all of them at the used price.

Instead, I bought all six of my books on for a measly, much more reasonable price of $59.30, including shipping and handling.

Wow. Suddenly there’s more than $300 still in my pocket. And it really wasn’t that hard. I just plugged the ISBN numbers in the books search on and it let me choose what books I wanted.

It also gave me a way to take a look at past editions. That way I could buy an eighth edition that doesn’t include the useless interactive CD and extra page or two that the new and impressive ninth edition does, all while saving big bucks.

Or, if I didn’t want to risk buying a different edition, I could still buy it off some Joe across the nation for a lot cheaper than I could from the bookstore.

Just do it. Don’t believe the rumors that it’s only safe to purchase your books from the bookstore; there really is a better way.

Don’t just take my word for it-I’m certainly not alone. Six of the top 10 books sold on are textbooks. Yes, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association beat out The Da Vinci Code.

And if you’re fretting because you already bought textbooks, the U Bookstore it gives you two weeks from the first day of school to return your books.

So if you’re crying over spending so much money for textbooks, there is a way to dry your tears.