Buy new, buy used or rent???? There are so many choices for college books. Traditionally, students head to the campus bookstore and buy all new copies of books. Next, buying used books became popular. Now, there is a trend to rent books for those upcoming college classes rather than expend the cash to buy them outright. What is the best choice for your Boston area college bound student?
Traditionally purchased new editions
Once the class syllabus is available online, it is time to order the correct edition of each book, using the ISBN number to assure accuracy. The campus bookstore is well-stocked. Most colleges offer online ordering; your order will be set aside for pick-up when you arrive on the Boston area campus or a campus beyond the city limits. If you live close to campus, stop in some day, look around and make a live purchase.
How about used books?
Save some much needed cash; why not check out the used book selection? It is cheaper to buy used rather than new books. Most campus bookstores offer a great selection of gently used books that have been bought back from previous students. This is where it is important to personally try and select each book. You can be sure that any previous book markings will not be a distraction to your style of studying. Some students underline, some highlight, some write varying amounts of notes in the margins and some leave the book absolutely clean. It is up to you to decide what you can tolerate.
What about renting?
Renting is an even cheaper option for college books. Many campus bookstores offer this choice. The downside here is that, even if you want to, you cannot mark the book up with the usual underling, highlighting or notes. There is an estimated 40% savings when books are rented rather than purchased. Of course, rented books must be returned in their original condition at the end of the season.
Here is an potential kink in the plan to sell back books at the end of the semester, new or used. Sometimes, a professor changes the books they use for a particular class. This causes bookstores to refuse to buy back the old books and requires students to purchase brand new editions for the next semester. Sometimes, you just have to cut the loss.
Time to act…
Check the specific Boston area college campus bookstore or check online sites for the best prices. Shop around. Whether you buy new, buy used or rent, get going, get organized and get your books ordered.