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How to Save Money on Books (& TextBooks)

Whether its goodreads, professional development, academic books or fun books the younger crowd, there are several ways to score savings on books and eBooks.

Consider that k – 12 schools and colleges are increasingly moving towards eBook learning methods, learn how and where to find sources for ebook savings

Free Books Sources

When searching for things you need, always start by asking Is it available for free?. This is a simple questions to ask before you buy, but we typically don’t think of it. Therefore, here are some free book sources to consider before you buy.

1. Always Try Your local Library

Local libraries are an untapped source of free books in general and even less as a source of free ebooks. Libraries have access to a robust digital collection of ebooks and an even bigger resource for free books that includes bestselling books from the hottest authors, classics, and a wide variety of nonfiction for adults, teens, and kids.

In addition, libraries don’t advertise that they also carry academic and Test Prep books and ebooks like ACT, SAT and others.

Of course, you can’t write on the library books unless its a book you plan to keep for future reference, simply adjust by using a notebook to write your important notes. Its a free book and ebook source.

Do you plan to keep reading Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby for example? If so, then buy them. (Read below on how to save money on books you need or want to buy)

2. Have you considered your Local College Library for free books?

Some colleges allow residents in their community to check out books including ebooks. Have you checked your local university? Worth a try. Especially if you’re looking for research material.

Simply search within your university library’s website or call. If you call, make sure you are speaking with a knowledgeable staff or someone who is not afraid to ask questions for answers they don’t know. My local university offers this service luckily.

3. IntraLibrary Loans

This option tags on to using the library resources listed above. Through your local library you have the option of borrowing the book you’re looking for from another library. This option may be visible when you’re searching for a book that is not owned by the library. If when getting a notice that the book is not found or you don’t see alternatives to getting the book, ask your librarian if they offer intralibrary loans.

Most universities are linked to a network of libraries where you can borrow a book from a library at another State even. For universities, you can borrow all sorts of materials including books and ebooks as well.

A way you can save money on textbooks is getting etextbooks. Etextbooks cost less than paperback and hardcover textbooks.

Other Ways to Save Money on Books and Ebooks

4. Books are not equally priced

Consider the book form when looking for ways to save money on books.

Hardcover books are generally more expensive than paperbacks.

Paperbacks are generally more expensive than Ebooks. Consider getting ebooks instead of paperback or hardcovers.

Book rentals are generally cheaper than books and ebooks. If you’re not planning to keep the book, this may be the way to save. The exception however is if you forget to return the book on time. At that point you’re paying full price and you messed up saving money. So write the deadline date in your calendar!

5. Is there a Book Promo Code?

Search for a book promo code to apply for extra savings at checkout.

Where do you find legit promo codes for books?

Finding promotional codes for books can be a bit tricky. There are several websites that advertise ‘click here to reveal promo code’ only to show you don’t need one. What a waste of time.

Here are some sources where I’ve had luck finding legit promo codes for books:

At  eBooks.com for example, there is a 20% promo code offered every month for purchasing ebooks in select categories. These include categories in academia as well.

The promo code Categorysalecp doesn’t change

The categories or genre to use with the coupon at EBOOKS are unadvertised and can be found here.

Simply use Categorysalecp during checkout

Barnes & Noble offers a membership that gives monthly coupons and other perks. The coupon cannot be used on textbooks however. Nonetheless, the coupons in combination with free shipping adds to nice savings.

Shop Local

Shopping local bookstore is also a good option. But shopping local discount bookstore is an even better option. Shoutout to my local Grassroot Store. They also buy books your books. I find that their resale prices are pretty reasonable and the books are in great condition.

Books and Ebook Resources For the Student Crowd

Depending on your college major or the class you are taking, saving money on textbooks is not always easy. The library may not carry the title you need, it may already be checked out, or sometimes the book is a hot item that is not available to buy used or on sale.

One of the most common issues with finding the textbook you need for a class is that it is back ordered. What do you do next?

Book savings for Everyone

6. Buy Used or New?

You can find new and used books at a lesser price in lots of book reseller platforms like EBAY and Amazon. Search for new or used paperback, hardcover or PDF version of Textbooks from book resellers as an option to find a price tag that’s much less than big name bookstores.

If you buy used books, you can usually get your money back or at least some money back if you decide to sell the book later as well (as long as the book is current)

But you don’t have to front as much of the money when you buy it. And you can get books in great condition too when buying from resellers.

7. Time Matters

When is the best time to buy, rent or sell books? Time matters. The best time to get a book, especially textbooks is around the time when college classes are starting or ending, you can find textbooks sold by students way cheaper and in good condition.

Time for buying new books according to the season too. Easter may not be the best time to buy Easter bunny books. But the end of Easter holiday, it most likely will be because retailers want to unload seasonal merchandise to make space for the new stuff.

Think of theme around a particular season. Then search for special discounts and deals at the END of the season to score nice savings.

8. Rental options

There are a variety of places where you lease or rent textbooks. As I mentioned before, if you’re not planning on keeping the book, then why buy it?

By renting a book you just pay for the depreciation plus some profit for the vendor. I suggest you factor how long you’ll rent the textbook for and the cost, as this may cost you a little more than buying used and re-selling at the end of the semester.

Major book sellers like Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Walmart have a dedicated section where you can rent books. Amazon, paired with the College Student discount adds to pretty good savings.

To rent a textbook on Amazon, search for the ISBN, title, or author. next, select Rent on the product page, then add to cart and complete checkout.

The search box looks like the image below.

Alternatively, Click here to do an ISBN, title or Author Search Amazon

9. Compare Prices

Don’t forget to also compare prices at Walmart, Target, Ebay and of course Amazon. The major retailers often compete against one another for the most customer by lowering their prices. I’ve had good luck comparing prices.

8. Copies

Making copies of the textbook is an option to consider for saving money on books. If the textbook at the library cannot be checked out, you can make copies of it as an alternative.

Don’t forget to check copyright laws however. Generally, if you’re using a book for personal use, it’s ok to copy it.

9. Helping one Another

If making copies of the textbook is something you’re able to do, you can also find a classmate that bought the textbook, and ask if they would let you make a copy in exchange for a reasonable fee. You both end up saving money.

10. 50/50 ??

Buy or rent the book with a classmate or friend and share it. Then arrange a schedule for sharing the book. Who keeps the book? One person can choose to buy it. Or, if no one wants it, sell it and split the cash.

Where to buy used books?

11. Search social media

There are a ton of places where you can find used books on the internet through social media & local stores. Search Facebook Marketplace, Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags with the word “used books”

As I mentioned above, don’t discard local bookstores. They often have social media accounts with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where they post local sales and other events.

What tricks or tips do you have for saving money on books? Especially textbooks! I hope these tips get you started with finding good deals on books.

Happy Savings, TaLis

Home » How to Save Money on Books (& TextBooks)

Happy Savings, TaLis

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