College textbooks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, paperback, spiral bound, or hardcover, but what is most important is finding used copies. While all college textbooks are available brand new, hot off the printing press, the brand new versions can cost you double the price of a used textbook. For a new college student, money spent on textbooks can easily eat up a month's worth of wages. By purchasing used books, students can save money and actually have money left over for groceries. However, there has been a sharp decline in textbook purchasing in the past few years. Students are bypassing the typical types of school textbooks and embracing ways to save money on books.
Many students are now taking to sharing textbooks. Friends taking the same courses are buying one book and then sharing it. Not only can they save money buying used textbooks, but they can easily split the cost of the used textbooks in half. The more students taking the same class, the easier it is to share the textbook.
A new type of textbook is becoming readily available. Instead of purchasing expensive, heavy textbooks, some colleges and publishers are including free, downloaded textbooks. Students simply download the textbook to their computer and print out necessary pages or read the textbook online. This is helping students focus on the expense of tuition, room, and board without having to worry about finding inexpensive versions of the textbooks they need. There are downfalls to this newer format, however. First, students must pay for Internet access, but most importantly, if the power goes out, so does a student's access to their textbook.
A company known as Freeload Press did a trial run of download textbooks in 2006. More than 175 colleges or universities switched to the free textbooks and both professors and students were extremely happy with the results. While some professors feared the book's quality would decline, the truth is that the quality is excellent and having the books available for free is an added perk. Meanwhile, advertising found within the free download ensures that the company makes a profit enabling them to continue offering free textbooks to colleges throughout the United States.
For those who cannot stand reading a book online, Freeload Press also offers printed versions of all of their textbooks for under $30. This also helps students afford their books.
With used and free, downloaded textbooks available. College students will find it easier than ever to save money on their necessary books. Freeing up money is certainly a step in the right direction in today's world.