Game of Loans: The Textbook Season Edition

The start of a new semester means buying books, but there are ways to save

As the new semester starts, the bookstore will be filled with students who are looking to get the best price for textbooks.

Some students prefer to order their books before classes even begin, while others wait for the syllabus to be handed out in class to buy them.

“All students are different, but we generally see students purchasing their materials the week before classes begin, as well as during the first week of class,” Ferris bookstore manager Karen Bohren said.

It is common that students sometimes wait far into the semester to truly see if their classes require a textbook as well.

“There are students who choose to wait until later in the semester, but we always recommend that students purchase their materials as early as possible to ensure they have the widest possible selection of books in all formats, including used and rental, which typically cost less.”

While the bookstore sees lines more than 30 students long during the first week of classes, many other students opt for the more convenient option of online ordering.

“We see a healthy mix of both online and in-store purchases. We also have the option for students to order online and then pick up in-store, which many students enjoy,” Bohren said.

Bohren also stated that renting books is very popular among students because of how affordable it is.

The most affordable option at the bookstore by far though, are the online textbooks which students get a code for at checkout when buying in person. This option in the example before would be almost $200 cheaper than buying a new version of the physical textbook.

Students also buy from sources other than the bookstore and many of those students find great deals. On Amazon, the textbook discussed above was about $50 cheaper to buy new and over $100 cheaper to rent.

Another great source for finding great prices on books is ThriftBooks, a website which offers the same psychology textbook at as much as $250 lower than the price of a new version at the bookstore. Google searches are also a great place to start when looking for textbooks.