Finding your textbook online

On October 12, 2013

textbooksThe beginning of every semester is a drain on all of your resources. Time, money, and sanity are poured into making sure that you know where your classes are, readjusting your schedule to meet your work demands, and paying for books. The cost of college is raising and an almost unheard of rate; that means that getting the best deal on textbooks is of the utmost importance. Most college students are already tightening their belts as far as they will go. This is why many students are turning to the Internet to get their college texts.

When your professor gives you the reading or book list for the semester, don?t immediately go to your local bookstore. Those places are sadly overpriced and have too many other temptations that you may not be able to afford. Instead, head to the Internet and look online. The two more popular options are online retailers and eBooks.

Online Book Stores

There are now countless online book sellers available for you to choose from.  The greatest thing about the online marketplace is that it is a true open source. None of your purchases are going to be fettered by location. The easiest way to take advantage of these deals is to get the ISBN number of the needed book or books from your professor. This number is specific to every book that is published, sort of like a person?s social security number.  An ISBN search application can be downloaded to most smart phones. You simply download the app, scan the book’s bar code, and it will show you where you can purchase. By looking over the selection you can assure that you have the best price. By using the ISBN number, you will also guarantee that you get the correct book for your coursework.

Try linking up your Kindle, for example with your Amazon textbooks. Many online retailers have deals with different eReaders that you can use. Instead of buying books every semester or quarter you can just buy one eReader and keep loading it with the books that you need.


eBooks are relatively new in the education world. Many publishers are trying to find niches in the online market. They are partnering with different companies and seeing what eReaders or applications they can attach their names to. They realize that they are losing a large share of the market, so they are starting to make their textbooks available in eBook or PDF form. However, finding exactly what you need can be a challenge because you may actually have to find individual chapters of your books instead of the book as a whole.

Don?t worry if this is the case, you?re not going to miss out. When is the last time that you used every chapter of your textbook anyway? The fact of the matter is that if you haven?t before, you?re not likely to start now. So then, what?s the point of buying a giant book that you aren?t going to even use? If you can find the whole book online in either an eBook or PDF format not only are you going to save money, but you?re going to save space as well. In college, when you?re living with as many people crammed into as small a space as humanly possible, that?s one benefit you can?t ignore.

 header image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada