College textbooks: no one wants to buy them but everyone needs them.

So the great news is TN Promise will be paying for your entire tuition at any community college or Tennessee College of Applied Technology but the not so great news is that books are an additional cost. There is no getting around buying textbooks in college, it is inevitable. You will need them at some point. Yes, it is true that college textbooks can get pretty pricey. However there are other ways that you can get your college textbooks that make it much more affordable. Below are a few tips for you to follow when buying your college text books.

Tip #1:

Buy USED textbooks

usedbooksHaving brand new shiny textbooks is exciting at the beginning of the semester. However you will quickly learn that going out to buy a brand new latest edition text book will have an expensive price tag attached to it. Look into buying used textbooks. They might be in a little worse condition but they have the same information in them as a brand new book. In addition, sometimes people will leave little notes in the book. You can use these notes to your advantage, you might also things highlighted or underlined that are important for you to know. The bookstore at your college will have some used text books or you can find them online on websites like

Tip #2:

RENT your textbooks

This is something that has become increasingly popular for college students. There are many websites out there that you can visit to rent your text books. The way that it works is you find the text book you need, indicate that you want to rent it and they will sent you a copy with the understanding that it will be mailed back by a certain date at the end of the semester. I will warn you, if you do not return your book at the end of the semester you will have pay the remaining balance on the book. So if you decide to rent your books, DO NOT lose them and make sure to mail them back by the required date.

Tip #3:

Newer textbooks aren’t always better textbooks

One thing I encourage you do is wait until the first day of class before you buy or rent your textbooks. Yes, often times you willbooks get your class syllabus with the required textbook before class begins, but your professor will discuss the class textbook on the first day. Sometimes your professors will tell you that you are able to use the previous edition of the required textbook. If that is an option, ALWAYS buy the older version. It will be much cheaper. If your teacher does not mention anything like that during class, stay after and ask if buying an older version of the textbook would be ok to purchase.


Find alternate ways to purchase text books each semester (i.e. rent/buy used), pay close attention to the prices of textbooks and make sure you are budgeting correctly for your textbooks each semester. Follow these tips and I promise it will make the burden of buying textbooks every semester much smaller.

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