College Books: Save Money on Nursing Texts

NursingMay 05, 2014

The purchase of college books is a racket. OK, maybe not really, but it will definitely feel that way when you buy a book new for $130, and when you go to sell it back, you are offered $10. But some nursing students are getting wise to the game, so let's look at some ways you can find cheap textbooks.

Rent Instead of Own!

While some students choose to keep their nursing books as a reference tool, there are some who feel that other resources will be more helpful and don't want to keep a bunch of large textbooks around. For the latter group, renting textbooks from websites like, Amazon, or BookRenter could be a great way to avoid paying a ton of money for your books. A caveat however: Occasionally, supplemental materials that come with the books (the CDs and product keys) will be absolutely necessary for your course. If that's the case, you may be forced to buy the book new. Other than this exception, renting or buying used is the way to go. Confirm these exceptions with your nursing program.

To the Library!

There is a magical place full of books for you to read for free! Your nursing program should keep some copies of the textbooks they expect you to buy on hand, usually in the library. If you perform better by studying in the library, free of distractions, then you can skip buying the textbooks altogether and just visit them in the library. Some even give you the option to check them out for a few weeks. The drawback to this method is that other people may have the same idea, and the books may not be available.

Buy the Previous Edition

College books don't change that much from one edition to another. The page numbers may be off, there may be some updated information and prettier pictures, but it's hard work to write a huge textbook (which is why they are so expensive), so minor alterations are made to the existing text. It's a good bet that it will be fine, but it may be a bit of a gamble that a chapter may be missing from your book. If you like to play it safe, explore another option.

Find a Recent Graduate

Recent grads would love to recoup some of their original investment and may sell their books to you at a reduced rate. If they are especially generous, they may just give their nursing textbooks to you!

Get a Book Buddy

If you have a study buddy who lives close and wants to split the cost of textbooks, that could be a workable option for students who are short on cash but big on cooperative learning.

Take the Time

Spend some time looking at different websites for the best price on your college books. The university bookstore won't have the best price and will offer you less when you attempt to sell them back. Comparison sites, like or, are out there to make this process easier, so check those out, as well.

Your college books are your teachers when you aren't at school, but that doesn't mean that you need to break the bank. Save your hard-earned money for some rest and relaxation when you graduate!

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