Advantages of used Textbooks

Used textbooks have significant advantages over new textbooks. Today, the cost of college textbooks take a significant bite out of a student, or their parent’s wallet.  In addition to cost, there are many other advantages to take advantage of when purchasing used textbooks. Any of these can increase the advantages of used over new.


Tuition and college fees continue to rise every year and scholarships rarely cover the cost of books. Many students find they are short of money even before going to the bookstore.The average price of a new textbook can be well over fifty dollars. Multiply that by four to five classes a semester and the cost is shocking. Used textbooks are frequently twenty-five percent less than the same book purchased new. The extra money quickly adds up, especially when professors require more than one textbook per class.

Extra notes

Used textbooks often have notes in the margin. These notes are from students who have taken the class before. Some students may find these distracting. Others will use these notes to their advantage. Previous students may have highlighted material or noted what was important. These notes can help to clarify a difficult concept or section in the textbook. They may also indicate what a professor finds important, making studying easier.


With the use of the Internet, it is easier than ever to find used textbooks in places other than the college bookstore. Students sell books at the end of every semester to earn back a little of the money they have spent. These textbooks then become the used books that are available the next semester. It used to be that if the college bookstore didn’t have a used edition of the book, a student was forced to buy it new. Today, students have multiple sites they can search to find these books.


Used textbooks have been used by other students. That’s why they are referred to as used. There may be torn pages and writing in the margins. However, these books are still in usable condition. There is plenty of life left in them, enabling the books to be used for multiple semesters in a row. Reputable used book dealers will not resell books that have reached the end of their life. If purchasing from a private party over the Internet, you may be taking a chance that the book is heavily damaged or unusable. Shop only from sites that you trust.

Going Green

Purchasing used textbooks in another way of going green. Reusing materials means that less new books have to be produced. The more students that ourchased used textbooks, the more that helps the environment.

Used textbooks have many advantages for the college student, especially cost. Before purchasing new, take the time to look for the same version of the book in a used edition. You may not even know the difference between the two versions and the advantages are many.