Textbook tricks to prevent money and time – The GW Hatchet

Media credit: Photo illustration by Anthony Peltier | Employee photographer

The price of textbooks listed on curricula can be eye-catching, but there are many strategies you can use to lower your book costs.

A couple of things to expect if this is your first year on campus – you’ll have many long nights, find yourself at a few questionable parties, and feel the load of overpriced textbooks.

Students spend money on books they would never read on their own, only to leave useless books that they have to mortgage to someone else at the end of the semester. But not every textbook is necessary, and students often spend too much on the textbooks they buy.

If you find yourself overwhelmed the first time you buy textbooks, keep these tips in mind:

Do you even need your books?
If you’ve ever been assigned a $ 100 textbook that you haven’t touched in a full semester, you’re not alone.

If you see an expensive textbook on your reading list, check the curriculum for assigned readings from the book. If the textbook is not assigned reading, it is likely intended as a learning resource. In this case, online learning resources are like Khan Academy often work just as well. Or ask a friend who has attended the course. Chances are, the textbook will be a useful resource even if it is not intended for reading.

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics editor

If you need a book, you may not need to buy a physical copy – Gutenberg project is a website that allows you to download eBook versions of books with expired copyright that were published more than 95 years ago. Or search online “[Textbook Name] pdf ”and with a bit of luck you will find an uploaded version of the book.

Having a library card isn’t hard to have fun
You may know your local library as the home of maids who silence their customers and books tainted with what you hope is ketchup, but if you’re looking to save money on books, libraries are a great one Resource.

Look at that DC Public Library for all the novels and popular non-fiction books that you have on your curriculum. Get a library card for free and gain access to the thousands of books the DCPL has to offer. the West End neighborhood library Location is within walking distance of the Foggy Bottom Campus, and for you Vernies that Palisades The location is only a 10 minute walk away. Note that you can only borrow a book for three weeks at a time, but you can extend most books for an additional three weeks if necessary. If you can’t find a book you want in your local library, try the retention system and you will get the book in a few days.

If you want to read on the go, stop by Libby, an app that allows you to download books from DCPL to your iPad or iPhone.

If you need an academic textbook, try the GW library Top textbooks Program. This means you only have three hours with a textbook before you have to return it, but you don’t have to pay a dime. Many students use this as a resource to complete assigned assignments or question sets in textbooks without having to purchase the book. The only downside is that the most popular textbooks can be in high demand. So do not rely on this method during the final or mid-term exams.

You can also try making your own de facto library with friends. If you and a few other people need the same book for a class, buy a copy or sign up online and split the price between yourself. You probably don’t need your biology textbook around the clock anyway.

Buy used and save
We all know used books are cheaper than new ones, but even GW Bookstore’s used books can get steep. Instead, try online sources like AbeBooks and Thrift bookswhere you can often find your textbooks for less than a third of the original price.

This means you need to plan a little in advance as shipping from these websites can take about a week or more. But the GW bookstore publishes lists of required books for each class before the semester starts so you don’t have to wait for a curriculum to buy books. Often at the beginning of the semester, professors give a week or so before you need your books, but after that you can get along quickly without them. If you take some time to think ahead, you can save quite a bit of money.