The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Online books offer cheaper option

By Ashley Johnson/tr news editor 

Students returning after the holidays with holes burned in their pockets are finding creative ways to avoid expensive bookstore costs.

Renting or buying used books from the TCC bookstore are ways to get cheaper textbooks, said TR student Kari Blakney.

“Last semester, I bought new books for all four of my classes and spent over $400 at the TCC bookstore,” she said. “This semester, I decided to rent my books from the bookstore, and my costs were cut in half.”

For many students looking to save money, the Internet has become the answer to finding more affordable textbooks. Before setting foot in the bookstore, TR student Shirley Gardner prints out the syllabus for each class and finds the titles of the books she’ll need for the semester. Once she has the ISBN number of each book, she searches the web for the cheapest deal she can find.

“I’ve saved over 50 percent off on book costs by using BookRenter.com alone,” she said.

Gardner pointed out websites such as Chegg, BookRenter.com and Half.com. These sites will ship textbooks to students, allowing them to rent or buy used books at a much lower price than the TCC bookstore, she said. Even with the option to rent and buy used textbooks from the TCC bookstore, Gardner said the bookstore is often pricier than online options.

“I paid for the price of the book plus next day shipping from BookRenter.com, and the price was still cheaper than purchasing the used book from the TCC bookstore,” she said.

Several students have started using electronic versions of books, or e-books, to save money. TR biology major Jerrieal Lumar said purchasing e-books to use on her iPad is cheaper than buying or renting her books at the TCC bookstore.

“I saved almost $100 on just one book from purchasing the e-book on Amazon.com, and now I don’t have to carry around that heavy book,” she said.

Students with computers, portable laptops, iPads, Kindles, Nooks or any electronic device can use e-books if they are available, Lumar said. E-books can be purchased at the bookstore and almost anywhere online. She said students should check Half Price Books because that store saved her money on books in past.

Facebook is also a great way to save on bookstore costs. One former TCC student started a page where students can post what books they are selling and what books they need.

Students can also try trading books with each other and checking the bulletin board postings around each TCC campus to buy from other students.

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