Textbook saving tips

A helpful guide for frugal students

Melissa Maria Martinez, Times Staff

Textbooks are expensive. For students who are waiting for their financial aid to kick in or are just looking to save some money on textbooks here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. First, ask the professor if it’s OK to purchase an earlier edition of the book. Usually the earlier editions are cheaper so if the professor is OK with it, look for all recent earlier editions.

2. As soon as you know what textbooks you are going to need check Craigslist. Craigslist has all kinds of textbooks that previous students are sellingn to try and make their money back. The earlier you look the more choices you’ll have.

3. Go to the public library and see if they have your required textbook. The downtown MLK Library has been known to carry some required textbooks as well as the San Jose City College campus library.

4. Ask the professor if they required textbook will be on reserve at the Cesar Chavez Library for students to check out. These books can only be checked out for two hours, but photocopying the chapters require to read can save you close to 90 percent of the textbook cost. The book Racial and Ethnic Groups in America cost about $200 but photocopying 10 chapters, each one about 10 pages, totals about $10.

5. If you cannot find your textbook at the library or Craigslist, consider renting. Buying and renting options are available at Amazon. If you rent it from Amazon, you can return it within a few days for a full refund. So go photocopy that book, and return it.

Finally, consider choosing a major where textbooks are not so expensive.

If you know any other ways to access cheap textbooks, you probably should be in journalism so that you can share your wisdom with the rest of your peers.